UEFA EURO 2008™ only began yesterday but there is already good news for its anti-doping policy with a record 160 out-of-competition tests all being negative.
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In the run-up to the finals in Austria and Switzerland an unprecedented programme of out-of-competition doping controls was carried out – including blood testing – and all 160 samples examined at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Seibersdorf produced negative results. The results were communicated to UEFA's 12 doping control officers (DCOs) when they met in Lausanne on Friday ahead of the competition.
All teams tested
Marc Vouillamoz, head of the UEFA anti-doping unit, said: "We have been running out-of-competition testing in the UEFA Champions League for three seasons, and did some before UEFA EURO 2004™. But we only tested four teams; here we have tested all 16 participating teams and at every control ten players were tested. We received confirmation on Friday that all results were negative. This includes blood controls."
The programme of blood controls alongside the usual urine samples, which will continue with the testing of two players from each side in every finals match at the Swiss doping analysis laboratory in Lausanne, is another innovation for UEFA. "It is the first time UEFA has conducted blood testing, because the test for human growth hormone was now available to UEFA," Vouillamoz said. "We have had excellent co-operation from the players, team doctors and officials. They have been very correct in following the procedures and the rules."