Strict FIFA doping controls no positive tests among 2006 FIFA World Cup players ahead of tournament
FIFA's objective is to ensure that the 2006 FIFA World Cup is a football festival free of doping. For that reason, FIFA's doping control doctors have conducted unannounced tests at 24 friendly matches and at the training camps of all 32 participating teams ahead of the event. There were no positive results among the 216 urine samples that have been analysed to date.
"Even though in some cases teams had to be tested more than once in a period of just a few days, the cooperation of the players, coaches and officials was excellent," said FIFA Chief Medical Officer and F-MARC chairman Professor Jiri Dvorak. "All team doctors have adhered to the declaration signed at the Team Workshop in March, when they pledged their unconditional support for FIFA's anti-doping strategy."
At the friendly matches, two players per team were drawn for testing in accordance with the FIFA Doping Control Regulations, and requested to give a urine sample as soon as the match was over. There were no prohibited substances in any of the 96 samples. The doping control tests at the training camps were conducted without prior notice and at a random time. Four players per squad were drawn by lots, with the laboratory also testing one of these four players for erythropoietin. There were no signs of doping in these 128 tests either.
In addition to these tests, Swiss Olympic also carried out an unannounced doping control test on 14 players at the Switzerland national team's training camp. As Swiss Olympic and FIFA have been working together for a number of years, and as both organisations use the same doping control procedures, these tests were conducted in conjunction with FIFA. Once again, the players showed exemplary cooperation and the laboratory of the University of Lausanne did not find any traces of doping in the 14 urine samples tested.
FIFA has conducted 20% more pre-World Cup doping tests when compared to 2002. "There is no reason to believe that if we were to test more players from each team, or if we were to conduct more tests outside of football competitions, we would uncover more positive tests," stressed Professor Dvorak. "FIFA will therefore continue to base its anti-doping strategy on testing, as well as on education and prevention."
During the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, urine samples from two players per team will be tested after each match. Following discussions at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, FIFA will be working in close cooperation with Germany's national anti-doping agency (NADA) and inviting their observers to the tests.
In 1970, FIFA became the first sports federation to introduce doping control tests. Many of the research activities conducted by F-MARC, a body founded in 1994, are aimed at gaining more knowledge of doping substances and methods, improving methods of detection and working on the list of prohibited substances. World football's governing body bases its ongoing fight against doping on facts and consequently meets its obligation to safeguard the physical and mental health of the players, to guarantee equal opportunities and to uphold the game's sporting spirit.