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Feb 15, 2013

FIFA to step up anti-doping measures

FIFA has announced proposals to use biological profiling of players as part of its attempts to tackle doping in football.

The world game's governing body said it planned to use the profiling at the Confederations Cup this year and at the 2014 World Cup.

In a statement, it said: "FIFA is developing plans to introduce this new tool, including a steroid profile through urine and a blood profile, for the Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup Brazil, where in and out-of-competition tests would be conducted on all participating players."

The news represents the latest step in a project, started in 2011, to capture players' individual steroid profiles with tests on the participants at the World Club Cup in Japan.

Under those measures, 178 out-of-competition tests were carried out in 2011, with 184 taking place at the same tournament the following year.

"We have been testing this at the World Club Cup in 2011 and 2012, and we will continue at the Confederations Cup 2013 with blood testing unannounced at training camps and games," Michel D'Hooge, the head of FIFA's medical committee, said.

"It's our commitment to have all players participating at the 2014 FIFA World Cup having biological profiles."

The World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey has discussed the issue with his FIFA counterpart Sepp Blatter, and said he was happy with the steps being taken by FIFA.

"There is always more which can be done in the fight against doping, but we know FIFA has always been serious in this domain," he said.

"We think the domestic leagues can complement what FIFA is already doing."

The issue of doping in sport has come under immense scrutiny in recent weeks and, although football is seen by many as having nowhere near the problems faced by other sports, some figures in the game have called for greater scrutiny.

"It is very difficult for me to believe that at a World Cup, where you have 740 players, you come out with zero problems," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "Yet, mathematically, that is what happens every time."

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