Football

Players identified for drug tests

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The Football Association have agreed the names of 10 to 20 England players who will have to be available for random drug tests 365 days a year, the new head of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has revealed.

Andy Parkinson, the chief executive of UKAD, said however the players themselves had yet to be informed. Most of the players will come from Fabio Capello's England senior squad although under-21 players may also be involved, and will have to provide details of their whereabouts for an hour a day, every day of the year even when they are on holiday.

Parkinson said: "We have agreed the names of the players in the pool, and we are in the process of agreeing how and when we inform those players and how we introduce them to the system."

He added: "It is between 10 and 20 players from the national team."

The programme is much stricter than the testing regime required by FIFA - the world governing body's programme approved by the world anti-doping agency say players only need to be tested on club duty at matches and training unless they are long-term injured or suspended.

No other footballing country will have such stringent 'whereabouts' tests - the FA have effectively been forced to make this number of England players provide individual details or face the possibility of having public money for grass-roots football withdrawn.

Parkinson is unapologetic however they are doing more than FIFA require.

He added: "I make no excuse for the fact we want to have a strong and robust doping programme in the UK.

"We are bringing footballers into line with the domestic programme, which we are absolutely entitled to do.

"We would like to be consistent across team sports, as we have done for rugby union and rugby league, and individual sports."

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Topics:
Football
Hartlepool United
League One
Andy Parkinson

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