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FIFA leads team-sport criticism of WADA's new anti-doping code

FIFA leads team-sport criticism of WADA's new anti-doping code

World soccer's governing body led criticism Friday of the proposed new global anti-doping code, saying it unfairly punishes team sports.
FIFA was one of three major sports federations that raised issues _ with FIFA "strongly objecting" _ to certain measures being considered for ratification Saturday at the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport.
FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak said it was "unacceptable" that players serving doping bans could be barred from training with their clubs.
"If a player can't practice with his team, his career is simply over," Dvorak said.
FIBA _ basketball's governing body _ and the International Hockey Federation also questioned the rule.
"The one-size fits all approach does not work," said IHF Council member Murray Costello, the former president of Hockey Canada. "I ask you to please continue to work with team concerns after this conference is over. My fear is that we will leave here tomorrow with a code carved in stone without some dialogue ... and a team unable to deliver on it."
The new code calls for lengthier doping bans in "aggravating circumstances" and allows for reduced penalties for athletes who come forward and expose larger doping schemes. The code also calls for the provisional suspension of an athlete after a positive A sample, a new measure opposed by both the International Cycling Union and FIBA.
FIFA was among 1,500 national government, sports federation and anti-doping delegates in the Spanish capital to ratify the code, which comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.
The anti-doping code takes precedent over the doping controls of an individual sporting federation, a measure that FIFA objects to because it feels individual federations can handle team doping controls better.
FIFA, UCI and the International Olympic Committee all oppose a proposal that denies federations the right to bid for world championships after 2010 if their government hasn't ratified the UNESCO anti-doping convention. Sports authorities shouldn't be penalized by their government's inaction, they argue.
"One of FIFA's priorities is to promote and develop sport with events everywhere in the world, and therefore the extension to all world championships goes too far," Dvorak said.
WADA has urged all member federations to adapt the anti-doping pledge by Jan. 1, 2009.
The International Association of Athletics Federation, which is pushing for mandatory four-year bans for a serious first-time offense, hesitantly agreed to the hosting rule but pushed for stronger language to be introduced to ensure countries ratify anti-doping pledges.
IAAF president Lamine Diack said the most important thing was to achieve harmony on sanctions among federations.
"This situation is very serious and we have to be as rigorous as possible," he said.
WADA president Dick Pound compared the large number of delegates speaking out against the code to the cast of the film "The Usual Suspects."
"Nothing that was contained in that intervention differs from what happens in regular meetings with FIFA and team sports," said Pound, who is chairing his final WADA conference before stepping down at the end of the year.
"They were all singing pretty much off the same song sheet. Some of the ideas are pretty good, some are not so good. We'll deal with them."


Updated : 2021-10-22 22:35 GMT+08:00