Stars avoid lengthy suspension despite breaking the law because they were tested ‘Out of competition’ even though some tested positive mid-season
Database hackers Fancy Bears today published a list of all the football doping tests around the world that reported positive findings in 2015 – with nine in the UK.
Four footballers tested positive for traces of cocaine in the UK in 2015
Ecstasy was found in a sample given by a footballer tested by UK Anti-Doping in 2015
The leak alleged four players have tested positive for cocaine use, one for ecstasy and a further test found traces of amphetamine.
But only one of the six broke strict World Anti-Doping Guidelines because the Football Association deem only samples taken at a game can be classed as ‘In Competition’.
The WADA Code states any athlete found to have taken a social drug ‘In Competition’ should be hit with a four year ban.
Even though the football season runs for ten months of the year, the FA interpretation of the rules is the only time a player is deemed to be ‘In Competition’ is when they are at a match.
Any other time a test is conducted, including at home on the morning of a game, is regarded as out of competition.
So if a player is found to have taken social drugs out of competition, they are not covered by the WADA rules stating a four-year ban should be imposed.
Only samples taken at football matches are deemed ‘In Competition’ by the FA
The loophole in the regulations means just two of the nine Adverse Analytical Findings discovered by UK Anti-Doping in football in 2015 and leaked by Fancy Bears, resulted in formal sanctions recorded by them and WADA.
In the calendar year 2015, UKAD records show one player failed a test for having excessive Salbutamol in his system, a steroid associated with the treatment of asthma.
The other is Jake Livermore’s failed test which found traces of cocaine – with the England star escaping a ban after the FA took into account personal problems following the death of his unborn baby.
West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore escaped a ban after testing positive for cocaine
In the other cases involving the use of illegal narcotics the FA chooses to deal with each case under their social drugs programme, which is aimed at education and rehabilitation.
There are instances in the past where players have received suspensions, but under the programme the FA does not have to report the matters to UKAD or make public their decision.
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FA officials were dismayed when Fancy Bears published the hacked list, believed to have been obtained from WADA files.
The said in a statement said: “The Football Association [The FA] is disappointed that strictly confidential information has been released into the public domain.
“The details of ongoing cases cannot be discussed or disclosed until due legal process has been completed.
Doping control officials can test footballers at matches, at training and even at home
“In the event that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, full details will be published on The FA website in line with The World Anti-Doping Code.
“Additionally, it is inappropriate to publish information relating to personal medical conditions or medications and we will work alongside our partners to ascertain the extent of this matter.”
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