UEFA is undertaking its out-of-competition anti-doping programme ahead of the UEFA EURO 2012 final round – thereby ensuring the protection of the tournament's integrity.
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UEFA is part of the way through its extensive UEFA EURO 2012 pre-tournament out-of-competition anti-doping programme, which involves blood and urine samples being collected from all teams participating in the tournament at key points during their preparations.
UEFA doping control officers (DCOs) are currently arriving unannounced at team training sessions across Europe to ensure that UEFA has the best possible opportunity to protect the integrity of the tournament and its participants by catching players who might be using prohibited substances.
At each visit, ten players per team are selected for a doping control. All samples collected during this pre-tournament period are analysed at World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratories according to the most advanced analytical menu currently available, which was designed in conjunction with leading figures in the international anti-doping science community.
The pre-tournament doping controls complement the in-competition anti-doping programme which will be in place during the finals in Poland and Ukraine. All 31 matches will be subject to controls, while teams and players will be subject to no-notice testing in rest periods between matches.
In order for out-of-competition testing to be conducted, all participating teams are required to submit full details of their pre-tournament whereabouts to the UEFA anti-doping unit, and to notify UEFA in advance of the movements of players to and from the squad group.
Teams who fail to provide accurate information, and players whose absences have not been notified to UEFA, can face disciplinary sanctions in accordance with UEFA's anti-doping whereabouts rules, which are the same as those applied each season to clubs in the UEFA Champions League. This gives UEFA the best chance of ensuring that teams play fair prior to and during the tournament, and builds a platform for a competition clear from the risk of performance-enhancing substance use.
UEFA's UEFA EURO 2012 anti-doping programme is fully supported by all participating teams, whose team doctors and presidents have signed an anti-doping charter to confirm their commitment to promoting clean football among their teams and players. Through this shared goal, UEFA and the participating teams will aim to achieve the objective of a successful and drug-free UEFA EURO 2012.