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Friday 29, Jan 2016

  Former UEFA Man Appointed To Lead Anti-Doping Unit

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Mike Earl has been appointed by World Rugby as its Anti-Doping General Manager, the sport’s governing body said in a statement.

Earl will head the Dublin-based organization’s anti-doping unit. Previously, Earl has spent 15 years working in the field for UEFA, the Football Association, and the UK National Anti-Doping Organization.

In a statement, World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset remarked doping is a major threat to the integrity of sport and World Rugby is a committed and active federation in the fight to protect clean sport. Lapasset added this appointment in a critical area expands our capability, ensuring the highest possible standards of testing and education as our sport continues to reach and grow in new markets worldwide.

Lapasset also said we announced a 28 per cent increase in our annual education and testing funding in 2015. He also remarked this record anti-doping investment, with participation levels increasing at unprecedented rates, represents a proactive and pragmatic approach to protect our sport and ensure a level playing field. The World Rugby chairman added it focuses on the intelligence-based testing supported by our biological passport program and increased face-to-face and online education across multiple languages.

The World Rugby in a statement said it was committed to ensuring the highest standards of education in order that players at all levels of the sport make the right choices with regards to nutrition and participation. The statement also reads that education remains a critical deterrent and it is mandatory for players, coaches and medical practitioners participating in World Rugby events. The World Rugby statement added it would also implement educational programs at lower levels of the game and in school rugby.

During last year’s Rugby World Cup 2015 testing program, 468 samples were taken across all 20 participating nations with no adverse findings.

Recently, Ryan Watkins was suspended from all sport for four years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). Watkins tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone and the stimulant Methylhexaneamine following an in-competition test on 18 August after a pre-season friendly between Maesteg Harlequins RFC and Bridgend Ravens RFC. He is banned from 12 September 2015 to midnight on 11 September 2019.

UKAD Director of Legal, Graham Arthur said Ryan Watkins deliberately ingested Nandrolone and Methylhexaneamine without any consideration for his responsibilities as an athlete and added by making this conscious choice to dope, Watkins has chosen to cheat his team mates, the opposition and his sport.

Few days back, UK Anti-Doping suspended Shaun Cleary from all sport for two years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The hooker for Maesteg Harlequins RFC tested positive for Benzoylecgonine (a cocaine metabolite) following an in-competition test on 18 August after a pre-season friendly between Maesteg Harlequins RFC and Bridgend Ravens RFC. At that time, Graham Arthur said Cleary used cocaine three days before he played and cocaine was still in his system when he played. The UKAD Director of Legal then remarked cocaine is banned from sport and Athletes are solely responsible for what is in their system, regardless of whether there is an intention to cheat or not. Sportspeople have to be aware that using cocaine at any time will put them at great risk of breaking the anti-doping rules and receiving a long ban.

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Monday 21, Sep 2015

  Doping Suspicions In Football Dismissed By UEFA

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European soccer body UEFA has dismissed the notion that the use of performance enhancing drugs could be common among top footballers. The governing body of football in Europe made this comment after a study, which was published in a monthly science journal this month, showed a high number of suspicious testosterone levels.

This study was based on 4,195 urine samples taken mainly from players who featured in the Champions League between 2008 and 2013. Results of the samples were analyzed by scientists from 12 anti-doping laboratories in Europe. No “B” samples were taken, UEFA said and the governing body also said no additional analysis was conducted to confirm whether the high testosterone levels were due to doping or not.

The UEFA-commissioned study disclosed that high testosterone levels were found in urine samples of 7.7 percent of 879 players involved in the Champions League, Europa League, and two European Championships between 2008-13 who were tested by researchers and these high testosterone levels could indicate the use of anabolic steroids. This research was never publicized by UEFA and it came to light in a report by German broadcaster ARD on Sunday. However, UEFA did announce that steroid use by players was being added this season to its biological passport program.

Commenting on the research, UEFA said the study simply shows that the introduction of steroidal biological passport in football would be beneficial by offering further analysis possibilities in case of atypical test results. The European soccer body also added it has had a very thorough anti-doping program for many years with over 2000 tests a year and only two occurrences of positive tests, both for recreational drugs, which proves that doping in football is extremely rare.

UEFA also said this study does not present any scientific evidence of potential doping in football especially due to the presence of confounding factors, the lack of standardization procedures among the 12 laboratories, and the quantification of steroid profiles when the samples were collected. It added there was an inability to perform a second analysis as required now by the WADA international standards for laboratories.

The soccer body also said the study simply shows that the introduction of steroidal biological passport in football would be beneficial by offering further analysis possibilities in case of atypical test results and also remarked it has now implemented a new steroid profiling program which has come into operation at the start of the 2015/16 season. Players in UEFA competitions, including Euro 2016 and the Champions League, will give more than 2,000 urine or blood. UEFA also said players who could be selected for the 24-team European tournament in France can be tested from January. It also said the program will boost the already strong deterrent effect of UEFA’s testing program, as it will help better detect the effects of doping over time, thereby complementing existing direct anti-doping testing.

Recently, FIFA and UEFA medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe said doping control and the fight against doping is an absolute top priority both for the medical commission of FIFA and UEFA. D’Hooghe also added UEFA wants to start with pre-tournament out-of-competition doping control, blood as well as urine, precisely with the intention of controlling all the players and to establish a biological passport for all of the players.

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Sunday 07, Jul 2013

  UEFA Gets Tough On Doping

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UEFA Gets Tough On Doping

Players will undergo blood tests next season as part of the new anti-doping regimen of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, in all competitions run by European soccer’s governing body.

Till now, UEFA has only conducted blood tests at international tournaments-Euro 2008 and 2012 but the detection regime is to be extended to the Champions League and Europa League from this month. Players may now be asked at doping controls to give urine samples, blood samples, or both, and checks will be made in and out of competition. On its website, UEFA said out-of-competition checks would only be carried out if players or teams had not informed testers where they would be when required to be tested.

The new rules follow a UEFA anti-doping panel meeting that was held late last year. Chairman Dr Jacques Lienard said at the meeting that we cannot say that football is free of doping and it is important UEFA remains vigilant in its fight against doping and all products that are associated with doping.

UEFA anti-doping assistant Richard Grisdale said if you make a mistake or don’t know the rules and you test positive, you will be banned–you will suffer, your team can suffer. Grisdale added that doping was cheating the team you’re playing against and cheating your teammates and went on to add that you are responsible for everything in your body and if you test positive, you cannot blame somebody else. The UEFA anti-doping assistant added you need to take responsibility for the medicines you take, any supplements, what you eat, what you drink.

In another development, UEFA made an announcement that there were no positive doping tests in last season’s Champions League and Europa League after 1374 doping controls were carried out in Europe’s major club competitions in 2012/13. In the Champions League, UEFA conducts both in and out-of-competition doping controls. A total of 813 samples were collected from players during 2012-13, with over 67 percent of the samples analyzed for EPO.

The Union of European Football Associations in collaboration with the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne is also launching a study to analyze the steroid profiles of almost 900 players who have been tested at least three times in UEFA competitions since 2008. The goal of this study is to identify the potential prevalence of steroid use across European football by using data from previous doping controls. This study will be anonymous and its findings will not result in any player incurring an anti-doping rule violation.

The European soccer’s governing body recently warned the young players at the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship of the dangers of match-fixing and urged them to stay clear of this scourge on the game. UEFA intelligence officer Graham Peaker said UEFA has a zero tolerance policy on match-fixing and this means that if we identify anybody that has been involved – a player, a referee or a club – they will be kicked out of the game and they will get a red card from football. Peaker added the UEFA had set up a betting fraud detection system in which approximately 30,000 domestic league and cup matches and UEFA matches throughout Europe are monitored for irregular betting patterns each year.

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Tuesday 21, Apr 2009

  Football under Elimination Threat from Olympic Circle

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Football under Elimination Threat from Olympic CircleGiving a new spark to WADA’s new code, football could face Olympic axe if its chief bodies, FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA, do not meet the terms of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) “whereabouts” code.

WADA wants the sport to join athletics against steroid abuse fight by providing players’ location for one hour each day of the year for doping test procedures. However, FIFA and UEFA said that they wanted to respect players’ privacy and did not accept that controls be undertaken during the short holiday period of players.

Wada general secretary David Howman said, “The sport could be removed from the Olympics.” He also added, “There is a clause in the IOC (International Olympic Committee) charter that states this – it falls in the IOC jurisdiction and not ours.”

In a teamwork effort to fight against doping, FIFA and Uefa asked Wada to reconsider its position on the ‘whereabouts’ rule. The governing bodies wanted to point out the fundamental differences between an individual athlete, who trains on his own, and a team sport’s athlete, who is present at the stadium six days out of seven, and thus easy to locate. Because of that, FIFA and UEFA wanted to replace the individual ‘whereabouts’ rule by collective location rules.

President of Wada, John Fahey responded, “One of the key principles of efficient doping control is the surprise effect and the possibility to test an athlete without advance notice on a 365-day basis. Alleging that testing should only take place at training grounds and not during holiday periods, it ignores the reality of doping in sport.”

However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who sits on Wada’s board, said that football’s world governing body had teamed up with other team sports, such as basketball, ice hockey and rugby union, to oppose the rules. “We are a little bit surprised that through certain declarations [Wada] say there will be no exceptions made,” he said.

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) had already signalled their opposition to the WADA’s new code of doping.

Thursday 02, Apr 2009


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NSAIDs IN EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CAN CAUSE LIVER AND KIDNEY PROBLEMSInternational footballers may not be into steroids, the kind that thrust A-Rod into the spotlight, but they were definitely into non-steroidanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Research has revealed that these can lead to liver and kidney damage. These are similar side-effects that result from steroid use. However, recent drug tests results showed that almost 60% of football players in the Euro 2008 had the presence of NSAIDs in their urine samples. England wasn’t even included in the testing.

While players like John Terry openly admits he uses anti-inflammatory injections. But he seems confident that the sophisticated – and expensive—medical care in England would prevent scandalous headlines screaming of drug abuse and addiction. While the injections are regulated, there are still health risks that the players should consider.

The use of NSAIDs according to Uefa was for the treatment of musculo-skeletal problems. A debate was requested by Professor Jan Ekstrand on the reports that NSAIDs can lead to liver and kidney problems. English football should listen to Ekstrand who did a research to prove that those players who did not have any winter break are likely to experience injuries five times more than those who had time to rest. And this was proven with David Beckham in 2002 and Wayne Rooney in 2006 prior to World Cup.