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Sunday 08, Jun 2014

  Biological Passport For Every World Cup Player Under Preparation By FIFA

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Biological Passport For Every World Cup Player Under Preparation By FIFA

FIFA, the world governing body of football, is on an ambitious mission these days to ensure that every player who participates in the Football World Cup has a drug test and carries a ‘biological passport’.

For the first time, the governing body is planning to use the biological passport that will follow players throughout their career, offering details about urine and blood tests. A team of FIFA doctors and nurses since March this year have been carrying out random urine and blood tests at internationals and team training camps. A few weeks ago, France and Argentina were visited at their camps to prepare for the tournament. Some of the most eminent football stars including Brazilian star Neymar, Italian captain Gianluigi Buffon, and Spain’s Andres Iniesta were among those who provided samples at last year’s Confederations Cup. Over the last 18 months, stars from Chelsea, Barcelona, Santos, and Monterrey were tested during international club competitions.

In a recent interview, Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s chief medical officer remarked that we can test anybody, anytime, anywhere, any amount of times. Football players can now expect drug testing right from the first matches of the World Cup which starts June 12. Dvorak added there has not been anything alarming so far and said the hematological parameters are normal. FIFA has collected at least two test samples from most players while some players have given as many as four samples. Dvorak went on to add that they understand what we are doing and they consider that kind of examination as part of their professional life.

FIFA tests loom for discrepancies in hemoglobin and red cells that may indicate the use of EPO doping or use of other banned performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic androgenic steroids to improve performance. The world governing body of football also checks hormone levels and steroids in the urine. However, Dvorak acknowledged that the drug testing logistics in Brazil face difficulties. The World Anti-Doping Agency withdrew its accreditation for the only anti-doping laboratory in Brazil last year. FIFA will send urine and blood samples to a laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, which will add $250,000 (180,000 euros) to the doping clampdown costs.

The primary cause of concern is that there will be a race against time to get samples from far-flung World Cup cities such as Manaus in the Amazon and Fortaleza as blood samples must be analyzed within 36 hours of being drawn. Dvorak remarked there are a few games that are difficult but the majority of the samples will arrive at the laboratory between 24 and 48 hours. The chief medical officer of FIFA said some of the matches are critical, the critical matches we will look at very carefully.

Football has rarely seen declared cases of performance enhancing doping with the biggest doping case coming from Argentina star Diego Maradona who was sent home from the 1994 World Cup after he tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine. According to FIFA.com, the world body’s website, cannabis and cocaine have made up the majority of drug failures in football in recent years.

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Friday 05, Oct 2012

  Italian Football Filled With Doping, Says Matías Almeyda

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Italian Football Filled With Doping, Says Matías Almeyda

The former Argentina international, Matías Almeyda, has made a series of startling accusations in his autobiography.

In his book Almeyda: Life and Soul, the former Parma midfielder claimed that he was given what he now believes were drugs while at the Serie A club between 2000 and 2002. Born on 21 December 1973, the retired Argentine footballer is presently the manager of Club Atlético River Plate. He was voted the competition’s best player in 1998–99 and played alongside Diego Maradona and participated in the Indoor Football World Cup in Spain. He played in Serie A of Italy and represented S.S. Lazio, Parma F.C., and F.C. Internazionale Milano.

Almeyda claimed the game of football in Italy is rotten to its core with corruption. The player who played for Lazio, Parma, Brescia and Inter Milan during an eight-year stay in the country insisted that football in Italy is plagued by corruption, doping, and match fixing. He went on to suggest that some clubs have fostered worryingly close ties to organised crime syndicates that fuel a climate of fear among the players.

Almeyda also remarked that he was hooked up to an intravenous drip before matches during his time at Parma and was convinced that the drips were used to give the players performance enhancing drugs that have done serious health damage in the long term, a story that was reinforced by television footage of Fabio Cannavaro taking on intravenous fluids the night before a match. He said it was said that the IV [intravenous] drip before games was a mixture of vitamins but before entering the field he was able to jump up as high as the ceiling.

The former Argentina international said he believes that a disagreement between him and Parma’s former president and owner, Stefano Tanzi, led to his house being broken into as a form of intimidation and added that former Aston Villa striker Savo Milosevic was another person who had a similar break after an argument with Tanzi. Though he denied being associated with any match fixing, Almeyda said he suspects several of his team-mates did during a match between Parma and Roma in 2001.

Almeyda helped the Olympic side win silver at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta and won a total of 35 caps for the Argentine national football team.

Almeyda was in news a year back when he made David Trezeguet, the former France international, the captain of River Plate and the honor of leading Los Millonarios in this season’s Primera Division campaign. Almeyda praised the 34-year-old former Juventus striker and said Trezeguet’s humility, comradeship, and commitment make him a good captain material. On 16 January 2009, Almeyda signed with modest Club Atlético Fénix, in the fourth division and finally -joined his main club River Plate, teaming up with former club teammates Marcelo Gallardo and Ariel Ortega on 19 August 2009. In June 2011, River Plate was relegated to the second level for the first time in its history and Matías Almeyda retired from football and was appointed the side’s manager the following month.

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Thursday 17, Nov 2011

  Priestley and Contador get new hope

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An outbreak of positive tests for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at this summer’s under-17 football World Cup in Mexico has raised doubts about the reliability of doping violations for clenbuterol in the past.

According to FIFA, an astonishing 109 positive tests were recorded for the banned drug out of 208 urine samples taken during the tournament.

The news is expected to help Contador and Priestley use verdict of the case; both have been accused of using clenbuterol but have blamed contaminated meat. The ban of Priestley is due to end in February, though he remains banned from the Olympics for life under British Olympic Association rules.