FIFA on Monday announced that the more than 1,000 drug tests performed on players at the 2014 World Cup have all come back negative, and that every player on each of the 32 competing teams -- 736 in total -- had provided blood and urine samples. FIFA said players from the tournament’s four remaining teams would be subject to further random testing with the results expected before their team’s next game. The last time a player was caught doping at a World Cup was in USA 1994 when Argentina’s Diego Maradona tested positive for ephedrine and was sent home.
Soccer officials have long held the view that the game is largely immune from the use of performance enhancing drugs that has badly tarnished other sports such as cycling. On Monday, Michel D’Hooghe, chairman of FIFA’s Medical Committee, which carried out the tests at the World Cup, said he did not think the use of performance enhancing drugs was widespread. “I will never say there is no doping in football but I say there is no doping culture in football,” he said.