The 2008/09 season will see UEFA continuing its drive to keep European football free of drug-taking, with doping controls taking place in all of its competitions – including out-of-competition controls at the 32 clubs participating in the UEFA Champions League.
Two test positive
In the 2007/08 campaign, 2,027 doping controls were conducted in all UEFA competitions, including youth and women's events. EPO – the substance deployed to increase endurance and physical strength – was analysed in 1,380 samples. A total of 637 out-of-competition controls were conducted, representing around a third of the doping controls during the whole season. Two players tested positive – one for cannabis at Under-19 level, and one for anabolic steroids in the UEFA Cup. In the latter case, the player in question, defender Alban Dragusha of Albanian club KS Besa, was suspended for 24 months.
At this summer's UEFA EURO 2008™ tournament, a total of 274 players were tested in-competition, including 126 at all of the 31 matches during the final round in Austria and Switzerland. In addition, 160 players were tested in the weeks prior to the event. All of these players, both before and during the tournament, were urine and blood-tested. The tests included systematic controls for EPO, human growth hormones, blood transfusions and synthetic hormones.
UEFA Champions League
A total of 793 UEFA Champions League players were tested last season, including 698 EPO tests. As in the previous season, out-of-competition controls were carried out on players from all 32 teams in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group phase. The UEFA doping control officers (DCOs) made a total of 48 visits, with ten players being tested on each visit. UEFA will intensify co-ordination with world football's governing body FIFA and the national anti-doping organisations in order to conduct intelligent and effective testing.
One-hour educational sessions took place with each of the 28 teams who qualified in the four final tournaments at youth level (Under-19, Women's U19, U17 and Women's U17). An interpreter was present to translate simultaneously into each team's mother tongue, as UEFA emphasised anti-doping messages such as the health risks of doping, possible traps and the risks to a player's career.
An e-learning anti-doping module is featured as part of the Training Ground football education platform on UEFA's website, uefa.com, and is now available in English, French and German. This module is addressed not only to amateur footballers, but also to professional players, coaches and/or doctors. The objective is to learn and/or teach in a fun and interactive way, while keeping the information simple and basic.
The anti-doping e-learning module contains videos with players such as Ronaldinho transmitting the anti-doping message to other players ("Be clean – be part of my team"), while various scenarios can be watched and listened to. Five different sections were identified in order to adapt the information according to the visitor: players aged from ten to 12 years, players aged from 13 to 15 years, players aged 16 and above, professional players and coaches/players.
Please click on this link to see the Demo of this education platform: http://elearning.uefa.com/ADPresentation/
To access the Anti-Doping Education web-based platform on Training Ground, go to http://elearning.uefa.com/
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