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UEFA continues doping fight

UEFA's anti-doping panel conducted 1,662 tests last season - with only three positive results.

UEFA's anti-doping panel has been presented with the results of the European body's 1,662 in-and out-of competition controls last season - both increasing on the previous season. In-competition testing has increased due to UEFA EURO 2008™ matches.

EPO tests
The panel heard at its meeting in Nyon, Switzerland that the tests included 938 players tested for the blood doping substance EPO in addition to the standard screening, which represents almost half of the tests. The overall number of tests has increased on the previous season. Out-of-competition testing took place for the second time in the UEFA Champions League. A total of 506 players were tested from the 32 participating clubs in 51 visits on an out-of-competition basis - and there were no positive findings. A total of 431 players were also tested for EPO, the substance deployed to increase endurance and physical strength.

Slight decrease
The number of doping cases in UEFA competitions went down slightly to three last season – four less than during the 2005/06 season. The three positive findings comprised two for cannabis at a futsal event and one for high concentration of Betamethasone in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying match.

Deterrent effect
The number of fixtures is set to increase this season as a result of the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers and final tournament - and as a consequence, the testing programme will be adapted accordingly. Furthermore, blood doping controls will be conducted in and out of competition for the first time by UEFA and, for the first time ever in a major football competition.

'Football Attitude 2008'
In September, UEFA was present at the Football Attitude exhibition in Lille, France, where it highlighted its various activities in the promotion and development of European football. There was also a dedicated area where videos, posters and leaflets were shown and distributed. In addition, the event featured the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Doping Quiz, a fun and interactive tool to learn about anti-doping, which is also used during the youth final tournaments.

Anti-doping conference
UEFA is pleased to hear that the WADA Code amendments were approved at the world conference in Madrid in November. There is now more flexibility in sanctions, which means stricter penalties for those who cheat and milder sanctions for non-performance-enhancing drugs. Together with FIFA, UEFA has always defended individual case management in football and therefore applauds this amendment.

Prohibited list
UEFA has sent a circular letter to all its associations and clubs participating in European competitions, enclosing the new 2008 Prohibited List that will enter in force on 1 January 2008. The list can be downloaded in the anti-doping section on uefa.com. Click here to read more.