The Premier League is coming under more pressure than ever over its anti-doping regime.
Recent accusations against London doctor Mark Bonar claimed footballers had used performance-enhancing drugs, though he has denied the suggestion.
Now, a shocking statistic has emerged that says a lot about football’s lax attitude.
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The Times newspaper has alleged that as many as 1 in 3 Premier League players were not even tested for illegal substances last season.
Out of 530 players who made an appearance, just 366 were tested at some point over the 12-month period.
Premier League must wake up
The FA programme is meant to test a urine or blood sample, but there are doubts over its effectiveness if players have somehow avoided being tested.
At the very least, the developing scandal over the strictness of anti-doping in the Premier League should lead to a wake-up call.
Doping scandals have always engulfed athletics and cycling, but for some reason, football has believed it is in a protective bubble.
Harsh measures needed
In 2003, Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand was banned for eight months after missing a drugs test, though there was no evidence to suggest he had taken illicit substances.
Ferdinand’s cry provoked outcry at the time, but that is the kind of harsh approach that the Premier League might consider renewing.
1 in 3 is a remarkably high number, and while all sports face difficulties in their battle against doping, there is no excuse for not testing players in the first place.
That the number of untested players was so high last season must surely lead to stricter action going forward.
Do you think the Premier League needs to do more to stop drugs cheats? Have your say in the comments below!
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