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FIFA and WADA Working on 'More Intelligent' Anti-Doping Program

  • AP, Thursday, October 29, 2009 4 PM
FIFA and the World Anti-Doping Agency are working together to produce a new anti-doping program that resembles the program used to test international cyclists. "We think this is exciting," Fahey said of the partnership with FIFA. "If it brings the results that many scientists believe it can, it will ultimately help all sports. We also know it will take some considerable time."

The two organizations will work with WADA-accredited laboratories to design a research project that could start next year. FIFA has been consulting with the lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, which operates the cycling program. Under this program, athletes give regular samples of blood and urine to create individual body chemistry profiles that allow scientists to see evidence of doping, rather than search for banned substances. FIFA's current program, which sees 0.3 percent of players test positive for banned substances, targets players classified as high risk, including international players, those on clubs taking part in the Champions League and players with long-term injuries. Each of the 32 European clubs playing in the Champions League have their players tested at least once in training and at least once after matches.

FIFA has convinced WADA that soccer players should not need to be available for unannounced tests 365 days a year. FIFA argued that its athletes deserve different treatment than those involved in individual sports because they train and play at predictable locations. Fahey said FIFA fully complied with the WADA code, and its new project would promote "intelligent testing."

 

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