The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) on Thursday in Moscow announced that the analyses of all doping tests conducted before and during the competition had yielded negative results.
The World football governing body’s Medical Committee Chairman, Michel D’Hooghe, said in a statement that the “testing programme in place this year was the largest ever conducted for a FIFA World Cup.
“Once all of the qualified teams for the final competition were known, FIFA developed a Test Distribution Plan (TDP) based on an analysis of doping risks for football.’’
He added that the TDP was shared and agreed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and consisted of a dynamic, intelligence-based testing programme.
“FIFA established a preliminary testing pool of more than 1,500 players who were potential participants at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“In addition to the tests directly conducted by FIFA, each national anti-doping organisation (NADOs) and the respective confederations were contacted to seek their assistance in testing the athletes in the lead-up to the tournament,’’ D’Hooghe said.
He explained that this close cooperation with other testing agencies allowed a significant increase in the number of tests on participating players.
“The regular tests were complemented by FIFA’s use of the athlete biological passport programme in WADA’s “ADAMS” system.
“Under this, all test results, including those from confederations and NADOs collected at the main international football events as well as national competitions, are gathered in the athlete’s passport in ADAMS.
“This features a haematological module (through blood) and a steroidal module (through urine),’’ the committee chairman said.
He added that FIFA’s Athlete Passport Management Unit, composed of independent experts, reviewed the data of players to detect potential deviations that may indicate an abuse of performance-enhancing drugs.
“This applied to all participating players at the FIFA World Cup.
“For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, every participating player was tested in unannounced controls before the competition and further systematic tests have been performed during it, both with post-match controls and on non-match days.
“With the aim of ensuring the most meaningful and intelligence-based programme, 90 per cent of all tests were targeted.
“This targeting was based on a number of criteria, including the recommendations of the Athlete Passport Management Unit, potential injuries suffered by the players, performance data and the athletes’ test history,’’ D’Hooghe stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all samples collected were analysed at WADA-accredited laboratories.
Most of the analyses, particularly of all the samples collected during the competition, were carried out at the laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.
FIFA said that in order to ensure a tamper-proof operation, it transported all the samples in a secure box.
According to it, this box is of a type that is normally used by banks to transport money and can only be opened with an electronic key.
“All samples collected will be stored for 10 years and be available for potential future retesting.’’ (NAN)