In the forthcoming 2009/10 season, players from all national teams and clubs participating in UEFA competitions will be subject to new UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations. These have been amended to comply with the new World Anti-Doping Code, as well as with International Standards, and came into effect on 1 January 2009. A circular letter explaining all major changes was sent this week to all UEFA member associations. In order to reinforce the message about new procedures, a summary is provided below.
2009 Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) & Declaration of Use procedures
The new regulations especially affect players who, for asthma reasons, need therapies with inhaled Beta-2 Agonists (salbutamol, salmeterol, formoterol and terbutaline). Abbreviated TUEs no longer exist, and asthma cases are considered and treated as standard TUEs, now simply called TUEs. TUE forms which are submitted must be accompanied by a full medical file, as stipulated in the document Asthma – Minimum Requirements. Before its approval of asthma therapies, UEFA's TUE Commitee always requires lung function tests. As part of asthma treatment, administration of inhaled GCS should be also approved by the TUE Committee.
In contrast, the non-systemic use (intraarticular, periarticular, peritendinous, epidural, intradermal injections) of glucocorticosteroids (GCS) no longer requires a TUE. However, it must be declared on the Declaration of Medication form (D3) by the player/doctor when tested. In the case of players moving from clubs to national teams, it is advised that local use of GCS is declared to the relevant body at the time of use. UEFA may be informed by fax or email using the dedicated form. The national team doctor may be totally unaware of treatment administered by the club doctor and vice versa. Failure to declare may lead to disciplinary action in the event of an adverse analytical finding (positive result).
No TUE or declaration of use is required for topical administration of GCS (auricular, buccal, dermatological – including iontophoresis/phonophoresis – gingival, nasal, ophthalmic and perianal).
2009 Doping control procedure
The minimum volume of urine required for a sample to be valid has increased from 75 to 90ml. This quantity is divided between the A bottle (60ml) and the B bottle (30ml). Furthermore, the urine sample has also to reach a suitable specific gravity (S/G) for analysis; the threshold is 1.005 or higher when S/G is measured with refractometer, and 1.010 or higher when measured with a test strip. If the urine sample does not reach the suitable S/G, the player will be required to provide further samples until the suitable S/G is reached. Ph of urine is no longer measured during the doping control.
Following numerous questions on this matter, UEFA's anti-doping unit has liaised with FIFA and WADA in order to clarify the issue of the platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) treatment method, otherwise known as blood spinning. WADA has confirmed that this method falls under section S.2 Hormones and related substances of the 2009 WADA Prohibited List. Consequently, a TUE must be submitted.
Testing Pools & Whereabouts
As stipulated in the WADA Code, some players involved in UEFA competitions are included in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP). The 32 UEFA Champions League clubs, as in the past, are subject to team whereabouts until their elimination from this competition. UEFA is responsible for collecting their whereabouts, and for out-of-competition testing from the group stage onwards (September 2009 to May 2010). All teams concerned by UEFA team whereabouts will be notified and informed of their requirements in due course (end of August 2009).
Some European players can be also included in other football testing pools, eg International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP, including high-risk players: suspended or injured). The IRTP submitted to individual whereabouts is under FIFA's responsibility. Such players will be duly informed in good time about their inclusion in the IRTP. For more information about whereabouts, please consult the following document: FIFA Roadmap for Implementation of the 2009 WADA Code (Click here).
The UEFA 2009 Anti-Doping Regulations, the 2009 List of Prohibited Substances, the Prohibited List Q&As, the TUE Q&As, players' leaflet and forms are available in the anti-doping section on UEFA's official website uefa.com.
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