UEFA is recognised as one of the world's leading team-sport organisations in the fight against doping and the organisation continually strives to ensure that its education and testing programmes remain at the cutting edge of science and recognised good practice in all areas of prevention and detection.
Any player participating in a UEFA competition may be required not only to undergo a doping control after a match, but also to undergo out-of-competition controls. Doping controls may include samples of blood and urine as well as screening for substances such as EPO and human growth hormones. No advance information is given as to when controls will take place.
To illustrate the breadth of UEFA's work in this area, in the 2012/13 season it tested more than 1,800, which is approximately one player per match played in UEFA competitions. There were 813 players tested in the UEFA Champions League (489 of them were tested out-of-competition), 561 players in the UEFA Europa League, and more than 400 in other competitions including futsal, women and youth tournaments.
In May 2013, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to approve new anti-doping initiatives, including the launch of a research study in order to retrospectively measure the steroid profiles of the nearly 900 players who have participated in UEFA competitions since 2008. The study aims to identify the potential prevalence of steroid use across European football by using data from previous doping controls. The study will be collective and anonymous and its findings would thus not result in any player incurring an anti-doping rule sanction.
Based on the study's results, a steroids biological profiling passport programme may be considered for future implementation within UEFA's anti-doping programme. Furthermore, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to introduce some blood tests in UEFA competitions as of the 2013/14 season, in addition to the standard urine tests. Until now, blood tests were only conducted at the final tournament of the UEFA European Football Championship in 2008 and 2012.
An accompanying education programme is aimed specifically at young players. Instructive sessions on anti-doping are conducted during final tournaments of all UEFA youth competitions. Educational material distributed to players helps to raise their awareness, informs about UEFA's anti-doping regulations and procedures, and prevents from committing procedural errors.
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