Footballers face tougher drug tests

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Football News

England footballers and other Premier League stars face a raft of extra drug tests under a new crackdown being planned by their sport's authorities, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to The Sun, 30 of the top-flight's players will be checked five times a year in addition to existing post-match tests.

The players will also be forced to provide details of their whereabouts for one hour every day, including end-of-season holidays.

The moves are part of efforts by sporting chiefs to bring football's anti-drugs controls and procedures more in line with other sports, like athletics and cycling.

UK Sport and Football Association (FA) officials will meet in the next couple of months to draw up the players' register, according to the report.

Andy Parkinson, UK Sport's head of operations for a drug-free sport, said he was not setting out to make life difficult for footballers but trying to "protect their sport".

He told the paper that athletics and cycling have both been badly tainted by doping scandals.

"The last thing we want is for football to be in that position where it doesn't focus enough - doesn't put controls in place - and suddenly finds itself a sport with a fantastic profile in a crisis," he added.

"The identity of the players on the list will be decided by UK Sport and the FA.

"We'll take into account behaviour of athletes in the past, long-term injuries where maybe they disappeared to Eastern Europe for six months to get an injury sorted - or if they have had a doping violation."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Andy Parkinson

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