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DOPING

FIFA calls for anti-doping overhaul

Football world governing body FIFA called Friday for an overhaul in the approach to the fight against doping in sport.

FIFA calls for anti-doping overhaul
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Just two weeks after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) conference in Johannesburg, FIFA held their own conference at the organisation’s
headquarters in Zurich.

And their conclusion was that the approach to anti-doping should be based on risk within individual sports rather than conformity across all sports.

“The management of risks should be based on the evaluation of risks,” said FIFA’s chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak, who claimed there was a huge difference between team sports and individual sports when it comes to doping.

That idea is backed up by WADA’s statistics.

Of 274,000 dope tests in 2012, 1.2 percent gave abnormal results with 0.42 percent testing positive for anabolic steroids.

In 230,000 tests conducted in football from 2005 to 2013, the level of positive tests for such steroids was just 0.04 percent.

“In the World Cup, the last positive case is (Diego) Maradona in 1994,” said Dvorak about the Argentine star’s positive test for cocaine.

“Since we’ve been in the Olympic Games, there hasn’t been a positive test in team sports, only individual sports… Those results speak for themselves.”

According to Dvorak, the fight against doping in football is not cost effective.

“In football we have to spend $2.5 million (€1.84m) to catch one case of anabolic steroids. In sport in general, it’s $250,000. 

“The statistical evidence shows there’s no need to increase testing.”

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FOOTBALL

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td

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