FIFA insists doping not a problem in football

Updated: 02 August 2013 20:30 IST

There was the Diego Maradona positive test from the 1994 World Cup and several Italian-based players were banned for doping in the early 2000s but football's record on drugs is relatively good compared to certain other sports.

FIFA insists doping not a problem in football
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Paris:

FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak has insisted that doping is not a significant problem in football.

While athletics has suffered some high-profile positive tests over the last two months and cycling began the year with the news that Lance Armstrong finally owned up to his spurious past, football has largely avoided any negative publicity with regards illicit drug-taking. (Also read: Lazio skipper Stefano Mauri banned 6 months for match-fixing)

There was the Diego Maradona positive test from the 1994 World Cup and several Italian-based players were banned for doping in the early 2000s but football's record on drugs is relatively good compared to certain other sports.

And according to Dvorak, that's because there isn't much of it happening.

"I am confident that there is no systematic doping in football," he told FIFA's official website on Friday. "There is no systematic doping culture in football. I am confident of this.

"Of course there are individual cases, for sure. We do more than 30,000 sampling procedures every year and we have between 70 to 90 positive cases, most of them for marijuana and cocaine and we have also anabolic steroids, but these are individual cases."

FIFA launched biological profiling back in February, similar to the biological passport in cycling.

It was tested at June's Confederations Cup and will be again at next year's World Cup.

Dvorak says FIFA will try to get other organisations on board.

"And now we are also in discussion with UEFA and other confederations to start this biological profile in the confederations so all the top players will be registered," he added.

"And if we have a suspicion then we go into the more intelligent and targeted testing."

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