Football: Fifa calls for anti-doping overhaul

PERTUISET ZURICH (AFP) - Football world governing body Fifa called on Friday for an overhaul in the approach to the fight against doping in sport.

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 per cent gave abnormal results with 0.42 per cent 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 per cent.

"In the World Cup, the last positive case is (Diego) Maradona in 1994," said Mr 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 Mr Dvorak, the fight against doping in football is not cost effective.

"In football we have to spend US$2.5 million (S$3.1 million) to catch one case of anabolic steroids. In sport in general, it's US$250,000.

"The statistical evidence shows there's no need to increase testing."

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