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FOOTBALL

‘Biological passport’ set for World Cup footballers

Every player at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be required to have a biological passport, Zurich-based FIFA, the sport's world governing body, announced on Friday.

FIFA intend to introduce the system of biological profiling at this year's Confederations Cup in Brazil, as part of the worldwide crackdown on doping in sport and it should be fully operational by the next World Cup.

A delegation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) met FIFA officials at their Zurich headquarters on Thursday, and WADA president John Fahey said his agency was "very satisfied with the commitment of FIFA on the biological profiles".

FIFA medical officer Michel D'Hooghe said: "FIFA was the first international organisation for team sport to start with longitudinal profiles."

He explained that FIFA is developing plans to introduce profiling, including a steroid profile through urine and a blood profile, for the Confederations Cup, where in- and out-of-competition tests would be conducted on all participating players, as well as unannounced blood testing at training camps and games.

"And it's our commitment to have all players participating at the 2014 FIFA World Cup having biological profiles," he added.

Biological profiling is considered one of the most effective methods of detecting the use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood boosters like EPO.

EPO was first tested for by FIFA at the 2002 World Cup where all players had to underego urine and blood testing and whenever the results were abnormal, an EPO test was performed.

All results were negative.

FIFA is also developing the hormonal profiling project, a new initiative in collaboration with the WADA-accredited laboratory in Switzerland.
 
"There is always more which can be done in the fight against doping, but we know FIFA has always been serious in this domain," Fahey said.

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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