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FIFA to crack down on drug cheats after Arsenal manager’s doping criticism

FIFA president Sepp Blatter with the World Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS FIFA president Sepp Blatter with the World Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

Friday, February 15, 2013
12:45 PM

FIFA has committed to carrying out blood tests for banned drugs at next year’s World Cup a week after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made the call for better testing.

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The Gunners manager said last Friday that football did not do enough against doping in the wake of recent scandals across other sports.

The commitment from the world’s governing body, that will also include biological profiling for all players at the tournament which can indicate doping, comes after a meeting between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey and FIFA president Sepp Blatter this week.

Before the meeting, Fahey had said that football was not testing enough for the blood-boosting agent EPO, which requires blood tests. Three out of every four players tested at World Cup qualifiers will not have EPO tests.

Fahey said earlier this week: “I simply say this about football - they are not testing enough for EPO. They can do more and we encourage them to do more.”

He also called on the domestic leagues to do more to add to FIFA’s testing.

After the meeting with Blatter, Fahey praised the commitment made, especially to biological profiles which can indicate hormone use and blood doping.

Fahey said: “We are very interested in continuing the work on biological profiles. WADA is very satisfied with the commitment of FIFA on the biological profiles, which will be run not only at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 but already at the FIFA Confederations Cup in June this year.”

FIFA’s medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe added: “FIFA was the first international organisation for team sport to start with longitudinal profiles. We have been testing this at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2011 and 2012, we will continue at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 with blood testing unannounced at training camps and games.

“And it’s our commitment to have all players participating at the 2014 FIFA World Cup having biological profiles.”

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