Fight Against Doping Discussed By Fahey And Blatter

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey and the WADA Secretary General David Howman recently met FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, and Chairman of FIFA’s Medical Committee Dr Michel D’Hooghe at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 14 February 2013, for a courtesy visit.

Fahey wanted to thank FIFA for its progressive and productive collaboration with WADA over the years in the fight against doping and President Blatter reiterated the commitment of FIFA to fight against this serious threat, and its will to continue working hand-in-hand with the World Anti-Doping Agency. One of the highlights of this discussion was the biological profile that is considered by many as one of the best methods for detecting the use of performance enhancing drugs.

FIFA is developing plans to introduce biological profile, including a steroid profile through urine and a blood profile, for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, where in- and out-of-competition tests would be conducted on all participating players. This comes as a new step after a pilot project was initiated in 2011 for capturing the individual steroid profile of players, with in- and out-of-competition tests on the participants at the FIFA Club World Cup. In 2011, 178 out-of-competition tests were conducted on this occasion and 184 tests were conducted in 2012. In addition to this, the world governing body of football is currently developing the hormonal profiling project, a new initiative in collaboration with the WADA-accredited laboratory in Switzerland.

WADA president Fahey said their agency is interested in continuing the work on biological profiles and the World Anti-doping agency is very satisfied with the commitment of the FIFA on these profiles that will be run not only at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 but already at the FIFA Confederations Cup in June this year. Fahey added there is always more which can be done in the fight against doping, but we know FIFA has always been serious in this domain.

The Chairman of FIFA’s Medical Committee Dr Michel D’Hooghe explained that the world football body is directly carrying out in- and out-of-competition tests at its own competitions (FIFA World Cups, including qualifiers). In 2012, 662 urine samples were taken at FIFA’s competitions (FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA Futsal World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Brazil 2014 qualifiers and Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football tournaments. There has been one adverse analytical finding till date at a FIFA World Cup Qualifier in October 2012. D’Hooghe added we will be spending 2.5 million USD in the fight against doping in 2014, the year of the FIFA World Cup and said FIFA was the first international organization for team sport to start with longitudinal profiles and it is our commitment to have all players participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup having biological profiles. FIFA will carry out doping controls at 114 matches and collect a total of 456 samples for the 820 Brazil 2014 qualifiers. Four players are to undergo a doping control and out of those selected, one is drawn for EPO, at these selected matches.

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