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Sep, 15, 2009

PFA chief Taylor slams home drug testing plans

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has revealed in an exclusive interview with ESPNsoccernet his objections to the "invasion of privacy" as the entire England squad are threatened with home drug testing before the World Cup finals.

Taylor is convinced that 30 elite players will shortly be named as part of a new set of rules for drug testing and thinks that the likelihood of these players having to record their whereabouts for 365 days in the year is on the verge of being implemented.

It would mean Fabio Capello's entire World Cup squad being on the list, along with leading England Under-21 stars and possibly some women internationals.

Taylor told me: "UK Sport are keen to comply with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and would not just want elite players, but also Under-21 players and women on the list too. For the moment we know they want 30 players, but not necessary all senior players, they want players of different age groups.

"We don't know for sure at this stage who will be on that list. But I can tell you that it is at the business stage of being sorted out. It won't be long, I think, before we shall know. Decisions are being made shortly.

"But it would mean the England players being tested in their own homes, when they are injured, and when they are on holiday. They are targeting injured player to ensure they take the routine methods back to fitness and no enhancements that would speed it up. We hope that it is not necessary to test players in their own homes, as that is a blatant invasion of privacy.''

Taylor added that he believed there was pressure from WADA to conform, but that the current system of testing them at their club's training grounds is sufficient.

"Certain countries are not adhering to the WADA rules, and as a result they are making special arrangements in places such as Holland and Spain, and of course this issue involves all the other sports, not just football,'' he said.

"The issue is that FIFA, UEFA, and the FA support WADA, which means they support the process whereby top players can be tested in their own homes, when we feel there is sufficient opportunity to do the testing at the training grounds as they are doing now.

"Our point of view is that there is a need to distinguish between social drugs and performance enhancing drugs, and at the moment that is not the case. But we shall only support WADA if there is a differential."

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