FIFA and UEFA reject WADA 'whereabouts' stance

FIFA and UEFA issue a joint statement rejecting the stance of the World Anti-Doping Agency concerning the 'whereabouts' rule relating to doping controls and more specifically the individual location of team sport athletes.

A doping control room inside a stadium
A doping control room inside a stadium ©UEFA.com

FIFA and UEFA have issued a joint statement rejecting the stance taken by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) concerning the 'whereabouts' rule relating to doping controls, and, more specifically, the individual location of team sports' athletes.

Meetings and decisions
The statement follows the joint meeting with team sports' federations held in Vienna on 8 December last year, further to the unanimous decision of the FIFA Executive Committee on 19 March in Zurich, and the unanimous decision of the UEFA Executive Committee on 24 March in Copenhagen.

Fundamental differences
"FIFA and UEFA wish to point out the fundamental differences between an individual athlete, who trains on his own, on the one hand, and a team sport's athlete, who is present at the stadium six days out of seven, and thus easy to locate, on the other hand," the statement said. "FIFA and UEFA therefore oppose the individual 'whereabouts' rule, and want to see it replaced by collective location rules, within the scope of the team and within the stadium infrastructure.

Respect private life
"Nevertheless, FIFA and UEFA agree, as an exception, individual location for players already serving a suspension, or for players injured for a long period of time, as these players do not necessarily participate in the daily life of the club. Furthermore, FIFA and UEFA do not accept that controls be undertaken during the short holiday period of players, in order to respect their private life.

Spirit of collaboration
"Finally," the statement continued, "FIFA and UEFA want to draw attention to the fact that, both on a political and juridical level, the legality of the lack of respect of the private life of players, a fundamental element of individual liberty, can be questioned. Every year, the football world organises between 25,000 to 30,000 anti-doping controls and is committed to fight against doping in football with all means. In a spirit of collaboration in the fight against doping, FIFA and UEFA therefore ask WADA to reconsider its position on the 'whereabouts' rule."