SAO PAULO: FIFA is planning its own version of ‘out-of-competition’ dope testing ahead of the World Cup finals in Brazil in June and July writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The ability of the world federation to step up its anti-doping programme has been progressed by the introduction of biological passports which record a player’s history in blood and urine.

FIFA has set the 32 associations a deadline of March 1 to submit their schedule for training camps and friendly matches.

Medical director Jiri Dvorak said: “We will not issue any prior warnings so the test visits will be a surprise. Teams need to register their locations with us and from that we will decide where we go. It’s the first time we have done this.”

The last positive test during the finals was the notorious case of Argentina’s Diego Maradona in 1994 in the United States.

Dvorak added: “We want to continue without doping in the competition.”

Standard procedure

During the finals, as standard, two players per squad per game will be selected randomly to be tested after the match. But FIFA can also test other players without needing to publish a reason.

Test samples will be flown out of Sao Paulo to the Lausanne laboratory approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This is necessary because the Brazilian LADETEC laboratory had its accreditation withdrawn by WADA last year.

Dvorak, addressing concerns about the testing time factor, said: “By using the overnight flights from Sao Paulo the the samples can arrive on the morning of the next day in Switzerland. We believe that, within 48 hours of a game, we will have the test results.”

He also confirmed the standard FIFA practice of permitting ‘water breaks’ for players during games if indicated by a technical climate conditions check an hour before kickoff. Seven initial matches had been identified as possible ‘heat spots.’