UEFA is conducting a comprehensive In- and Out-of-Competition anti-doping testing programme for UEFA EURO 2020.
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UEFA is recognised as one of the world's leading team-sport organisations in the fight against doping, and continually strives 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.
The EURO test programme forms a crucial part of UEFA’s overall drive to keep football clean.
Any player participating in a UEFA competition may be required to undergo a doping control at any time. Doping controls may include samples of blood and urine, as well as screening for substances such as EPO and human growth hormone.
No advance information is given as to when controls will take place – they can either be in-competition (after a match) or out-of-competition (at a team training session, or even at players’ homes).
What is UEFA’s pre-competition testing strategy?
UEFA have worked in close cooperation with the national anti-doping organisations of the participating countries, as well as with the world football body FIFA, to ensure a balanced programme across each of the teams.
This collaboration has been facilitated by the sharing of whereabouts information with the national anti-doping organisation via a newly-developed UEFA Whereabouts Application. The Whereabouts App permits a secure digital submission of locations making it easier for teams and players to comply with the UEFA whereabouts rules.
In conjunction with NADOs and FIFA, players from the 24 teams taking part in UEFA EURO 2020 have been subject to intelligent target testing from the beginning of 2021 as part of the pre-tournament testing programme.
Tests have taken place both in- and out-of-competition, when players are with their respective national teams and during club competitions.
An additional part of UEFA's testing strategy is the athlete biological passport (ABP).
UEFA runs both blood and steroidal passport programmes in all their main competitions. The ABP monitors players' biomarkers, in blood and urine, over time; variations in either the blood or steroid profile may be indications of doping, as well as providing intelligence for target testing.
Experts at the Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage in Lausanne have analysed the passports of all the players who will take part in EURO 2020, advising UEFA on specific target testing and analysis.
Has there been any re-analysis of samples?
UEFA stores all samples collected in 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 anti-doping rule violations to be prosecuted up to ten years after they have been committed, and as such, provides a significant deterrent effect.
UEFA have re-analysed 36 of these samples (20 urine, 16 blood) from players taking part in this summer’s EURO. The samples were carefully selected for re-analysis in collaboration with laboratory experts.
All re-analysed samples were negative, which means that UEFA can be confident that these historic samples are drug-free.
How will testing take place at the tournament?
During the final tournament, doping controls will also take place at each of the 51 fixtures, with a minimum of two players from each team selected at every match to give blood and urine samples.
Out-of-Competition tests will also be undertaken between games at team hotels and training grounds.
All tournament samples will be immediately delivered to a WADA Accredited Laboratory and will be analysed within 24 hours of arrival. The ABP experts at Lausanne Lab will also do a prompt analysis of the player’s passports so that any necessary target testing or additional analysis can be completed during the tournament.
What is the EURO team doctors' anti-doping charter?
The team doctors of the 24 national associations participating in UEFA EURO 2020 this summer have signed a charter pledging their support for UEFA's anti-doping programme, and confirming their commitment to a drug-free tournament.
The charter was signed after the EURO 2020 finalists' digital workshop, where all team doctors received details of the medical and anti-doping requirements at the tournament.
"As the team doctor of my national association, I fully support UEFA's strategy to keep football free from doping, and will take all the necessary steps within my association to educate players and staff members, and to help UEFA to achieve its goal of a clean UEFA EURO 2020." the charter states.
In signing the charter, the team doctors confirmed that they will use their influence on player values and behaviour to foster anti-doping attitudes within their team.
They also committed to taking the necessary steps to be conversant with and comply with the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations and the UEFA testing programme.