UEFA supports Play True Day - keeping sport free of doping

UEFA supports the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Play True Day - and emphasises its commitment to sport which is clean of doping.

Play True Day is organised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Play True Day is organised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ©UEFA.com

UEFA is pleased to support the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Play True Day on 10 April.

Play True Day is dedicated to clean sport. Its aim is to raise awareness among athletes, the sporting public and others about the global fight against doping.


UEFA joins WADA, other national and international sports federations, anti-doping organisations, major event organisers and educational institutions across the world in backing Play True Day and showing commitment to clean sport. 

How UEFA fights doping in football
UEFA is recognised as one of the leading team-sport organisations in the global anti-doping campaign.

European football’s governing body is determined to ensure that its education and testing programmes remain at the cutting edge of science and recognised good practice in all areas of prevention and detection.

A player is accompanied to a doping control at the recent UEFA Futsal EURO
A player is accompanied to a doping control at the recent UEFA Futsal EURO©Sportsfile

Doping controls
Any player that takes part in a UEFA competition may be required to undergo a doping control at any time. 

A total of 2,802 samples were collected in the 2016/17 season.

Controls can either be in-competition - after a match - or out-of-competition - at a team training session, or even at players’ homes.

Doping controls may include samples of blood and urine, as well as screening for substances such as EPO - the substance deployed to increase endurance and physical strength -.and human growth hormone.

Doping controls take place across UEFA's competitions
Doping controls take place across UEFA's competitions©Sportsfile

UEFA’s doping controls are all conducted by its own doping control officers (DCOs), a group of medical doctors from across Europe. 

Deterrent measures
A major element of UEFA’s testing strategy is the athlete biological passport. UEFA runs both blood and steroidal passport programmes.

The athlete biological passport has a deterrent effect, because it monitors players over a period of time and indirectly reveals the effects of any doping.

In addition, UEFA stores all samples collected in its major club and national team competitions - the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA European Championship - for up to ten years, in order to allow re-analysis at any time.

This long-term sample storage allows violations of anti-doping rules to be prosecuted up to ten years after they have been committed, and as such, also provides a significant deterrent effect.

Pan-European cooperation
UEFA has signed cooperation agreements with National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) across Europe.

Under these agreements, UEFA and the NADOs coordinate their anti-doping programmes and testing activities, exchanging information and intelligence. .

Bosnia and Herzegovina Under-17 players listen to a UEFA anti-doping presentation
Bosnia and Herzegovina Under-17 players listen to a UEFA anti-doping presentation©Sportsfile

Education programme
UEFA runs an anti-doping education programme which is aimed specifically at young players, who may be particularly vulnerable to the dangers of drugs. 

Instructive sessions on anti-doping are conducted during the final tournaments of all UEFA youth competitions, along with outreach programmes designed to reinforce the important message.

A UEFA anti-doping guide for players
A UEFA anti-doping guide for players©Sportsfile

In addition, educational materials are distributed to all players in UEFA competitions. 

These help raise players’ awareness of anti-doping matters, inform them about UEFA's anti-doping regulations and procedures, and prevent them from committing procedural errors.

UEFA fully endorses WADA’s belief that we can create a world where athletes choose to stay clean out of self-respect, fairness to their fellow competitors, and for the pure joy that sport brings.