PARIS, September 11 – UEFA will increase drug testing measures ahead of Euro 2016 in France, European football’s governing body said on Friday.
“In advance of the UEFA EURO 2016 tournament, UEFA will conduct the largest pre-tournament testing programme ever implemented.
“All players with the potential to be selected for participating teams will be subjected to testing from 1 January 2016 via UEFA’s annual programme,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Teams will also be tested at squad meet-ups in advance of the tournament, and following their arrival in France.”
UEFA will introduce a biological passport similar to those used in cycling and athletics.
“UEFA will kick off the 2015/16 season with the strongest anti-doping programme ever seen in European football,” said the statement.
“This includes the introduction of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) steroidal biological passport to improve the identification of steroid use; a strengthening of rules related to team and player whereabouts.
“long-term sample storage to permit the retrospective identification of prohibited substances; and a continuation of its comprehensive blood and urine in- and out-of-competition testing programme.”
Michel D’Hooghe, chairman of UEFA’s medical committee, said that while doping was not rife in football, authorities could not rest on their laurels.
“Recent events in other sports have highlighted the importance of remaining ever vigilant and pushing for progress in all areas of our work,” said D’Hooghe.
“Although our doping statistics remain low amongst players in UEFA competitions, there can never be room for complacency.”