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DFB mulls further blood-doping tests

The German Football Association (DFB) will consider the introduction of post-match blood-doping tests, it has confirmed.

The DFB's doctor and vice-president, Tim Meyer and Rainer Koch, attend Tuesday's doping discussion along with NADA's Andrea Gotzmann and Lars Mortsiefer.
The DFB's doctor and vice-president, Tim Meyer and Rainer Koch, attend Tuesday's doping discussion along with NADA's Andrea Gotzmann and Lars Mortsiefer.

After lengthy negotiations, the DFB last week signed an agreement with the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to introduce blood-doping tests during training, as had been reported in the media in July.

The agreement will see NADA carry out 500 doping tests, with 85% based on urine samples, as is the current practice. The remainder will be blood-doping tests, totalling 75 across the 36 clubs in Germany’s top two divisions.

However, the DFB was heavily criticised for only introducing tests during training, and for not providing sufficient funding to combat the problem. The governing body’s vice-president, Rainer Koch, has now said further measures are planned.

“Our target is to reach a resolution on the introduction of post-match blood-doping tests towards the second part of the season,” DFB vice-president Rainer Koch said in Frankfurt on Tuesday. “The fact that we are taking our time is not a sign that we are not keen to do it but rather the opposite.”

The DFB is solely responsible for post-match doping checks, and last year carried out a total of 1,644 tests across 13 competitions, including the Bundesliga and second and third tiers, the DFB-Pokal, the women’s Bundelisga and six junior leagues.

“I must admit that over the past few days we felt we were treated unjustly,” Koch said, adding that he believes the DFB is a “role model”.

“We have called for the introduction of blood-doping tests in other team sports as well,” he said. “We also don’t need to hide from other sports or countries looking at the number of tests. “In football, we are number two worldwide, behind Italy.”

The NADA announcement had followed the release of a comprehensive study of systematic doping in West Germany by Berlin’s Humboldt University, which has led to widespread discussion and investigation of the subject of performance-enhancing drugs and a renewed desire to eliminate future abuse.

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