FIFA officially rejects the most recent criticism levelled at the governing body by WADA and its president, Richard Pound, on Monday, 21 November, particularly, in view of the fact that, during the 117th Session of the IOC in Singapore in July, Pound officially declared that all 35 Olympic sports federations met the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.

On 29 September 2005, FIFA requested the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to issue a statement concerning the law of sanctions in relation to legal persons based in Switzerland. FIFA’s request was made as a result of ongoing discussions with WADA and in view of the latter’s demand that an athlete receive an automatic two-year suspension for a first doping offence. For its part, FIFA maintains that imposing such a blanket sanction across the board would be problematic from a legal perspective because it could be reduced only under very limited circumstances and it does not take into account the extent of the offender’s guilt.

At its 55th Ordinary Congress in Marrakech on 12 September, FIFA approved various amendments to its statutes and disciplinary code to meet WADA’s demands. Most notably, WADA was given the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case of doping decisions passed by FIFA after every internal channel has been exhausted at FIFA, confederation or association level.

According to FIFA President Blatter, FIFA has “done everything in its power to amend its disciplinary code and statutes so as to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code”. 

FIFA will now wait for CAS’s statement and further progress in this matter.