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By ESPN Staff
Nov 22, 2005

FIFA disagrees with WADA on doping bans

ZURICH, Switzerland -- FIFA disagrees with the World Anti-Doping Agency over automatic two-year bans for first-time doping offenders, referring the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Soccer's governing body said Tuesday the ban would pose a problem because "it could be reduced only under very limited circumstances and it does not take into account the extent of the offender's guilt."

WADA president Richard Pound said he learned with "considerable disappointment" that the matter was submitted to CAS, the world's top sports tribunal.

Any sport not conforming to the WADA code risks exclusion from the Olympics. Pound said at an IOC meeting in July that all 35 Olympic sports federations met the agency's requirements. FIFA said in September it had adjusted its rules.

FIFA has "done everything in its power to amend its disciplinary code and statutes so as to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.

On Monday, Pound called the changes insufficient and criticized FIFA for what he said was its refusal to share with WADA "any information whatsoever about this submission."

"It is an unfortunate course of conduct for FIFA," he said.