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Costa Ricans pass doping tests

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COSTA-RICA-ENGLANDRECIFE, June 29 – Costa Rica’s players who had drug tests after two World Cup games all produced negative results, their federation said Saturday.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona joined the Costa Rican federation in hitting oput at world governing body FIFA when seven players were subjected to doping controls following their 1-0 win over Italy.

“FIFA’s medical service told us Saturday that the anti-doping controls performed on the Costa Rican players after matches seven and 24 did not give positive results,” said a federation statement.

The two matches were Costa Rica’s 3-1 win over Uruguay and the success against Italy.

Meanwhile, Police in Brazil fired tear gas to break up hundreds of protesters outside Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, where Colombia and Uruguay were playing a World Cup knock-out-stage match.

About 350 anti-World Cup protesters marched toward the Maracana closely guarded by about 250 police, who fired tear gas to disperse them just as they came within sight of the stadium.

An AFP correspondent saw police detain at least three demonstrators and frog march them away from the crowd.

Mass protests erupted just over a year ago in Brazil, at first drawing hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to condemn the record $11 billion spent on the World Cup and shoddy schools, hospitals and public transport.

But recent demonstrations have been far smaller, with many Brazilians more interested in football or frightened by the violent tactics of hardcore protesters such as the anarchist Black Bloc movement.

Police charged a group of protesters wearing the Black Bloc’s trademark black masks Saturday, breaking the demonstration into several smaller groups.

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