Tuesday 21, Apr 2009
Football could face elimination threat from Olympic if its chief bodies, FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA, failed to fulfill the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) “whereabouts” code.
The governing bodies said that they wanted to respect players’ privacy and Wada’s new code did not follow it. According to new code, athletes must make themselves available to testers for one hour a day, three months in advance and Wada wants football to join the fight against steroid abuse.
However, FIFA and UEFA asked Wada to review its position on the ‘whereabouts’ rule. The governing bodies wanted to draw attention towards the fundamental differences between an individual athlete, who trains on his own, and a team sport’s athlete, who is present at the stadium six days out of seven and thus easy to locate. Both of the bodies also want to substiute individual ‘whereabouts’ rule by collective location rules. Prior, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) had already signalled their opposition to the WADA’s new code of doping.
However, Wada general secretary David Howman said that the sport could be removed from the Olympics. He also added that there was a clause in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter that stated that- it falls in the IOC jurisdiction and not ours.
Football’s place in the Olympics could be under threat if its chief bodies do not comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) “whereabouts” code.
Wada wants football to join sports like athletics and provide players’ location for one hour each day of the year.
World football body, Fifa, and its European counterpart, Uefa, said they wanted to respect players’ privacy.
“The sport could be removed from the Olympics,” Wada general secretary David Howman told BBC 5 Live.
He added: “There is a clause in the IOC (International Olympic Committee) charter that states this – it falls in the IOC jurisdiction and not ours.”
However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who sits on Wada’s board, said that football’s world governing body had teamed up with other team sports, such as basketball, ice hockey and rugby union, to oppose the rules. He said that they were a little bit surprised that through certain declarations [Wada] said that no exceptions would be made.
“One of the key principles of efficient doping control is the surprise effect and the possibility to test an athlete without advance notice on a 365-day basis,” responses John Fahey, President of Wada.