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FIFA backs WADA code and promises to fight doping with `all possible means'

FIFA backs WADA code and promises to fight doping with `all possible means'

FIFA agreed Friday to increased collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency and promised to use "all possible means" to fight performance-enhancing drugs in soccer.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter met Friday with new WADA chief John Fahey and signed a letter of intent to adopt the revised global anti-doping code.
"FIFA and WADA share the common objective of fighting doping and we will continue to do so through all possible means," Blatter said at a signing ceremony at FIFA headquarters.
The revised code, which takes effect Jan. 1. 2009, is expected to be ratified at the FIFA Congress on May 29-30 in Sydney, Australia, where Fahey will be a guest.
"Even prior to the formation of WADA nine years ago, FIFA was involved in doing something about getting rid of cheats in football," Fahey said. "We will collaborate and share information so that each of us can achieve the objective we both seek."
FIFA and WADA, under previous president Dick Pound, were often at odds over doping sanctions and other issues. Fahey took over as WADA president on Jan. 1.
The new WADA code was endorsed by sports federations in November at a world doping conference in Madrid, Spain, though FIFA opposed certain measures affecting team sports.
"There have been one or two issues over team sports," Fahey said. "FIFA was vocal and brought this up, such as the whereabouts of athletes. But there is very little problem."
Blatter, who is a member of the WADA board of governors, welcomed the inclusion of more flexible sanctions in the new code. These include the possibility of reduced penalties for minor offenses and sanctions not applying until an athlete or player has missed three doping tests.
FIFA and WADA leaders were taking part in a meeting later Friday of the International Team Sports Federation. The talks included regulations for athletes and players who must declare their whereabouts for testing even though a squad might not be selected until a short time before a championship.
Further negotiations will also take place before full ratification in May on whether players serving doping suspensions can continue to practice with their clubs.
As part of the new accord, FIFA has offered the services of its global medical team.
"We have offered to WADA's disposal all of FIFA's 300 doctors around the world to carry out doping controls," Blatter said. "It shows to the world of football that there are no differences in approach to problems between WADA and FIFA."
At the most recent FIFA world championship event, the Under-20s tournament in Canada last July, 208 urine test samples were taken and analyzed at a WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal. None came back positive.
Blood testing for human growth hormone could also be in place for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, according to FIFA's chief medical officer, Dr. Jiri Dvorak.
If used successfully at this summer's Beijing Olympics, WADA's test for HGH would likely be extended to soccer's showpiece event.
"If there is any new, convincing scientific evidence then it is instantly implemented into our testing program," Dvorak said.


Updated : 2021-05-09 14:07 GMT+08:00