doping rules slated

FRANKFURT - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his opposition to out-of-competition doping testing rules, saying the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has become a "police" organisation.

FRANKFURT - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his opposition to out-of-competition doping testing rules, saying the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has become a "police" organisation.

Under its first president, the Canadian Richard Pound, Wada had turned from a service body, particularly for those sports that couldn't finance their own doping controls, into a police organisation, Blatter told Saturday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

"And that is wrong," he said.

Football's ruling body Fifa and the European union UEFA have opposed the new strict whereabouts rule in the World Anti-Doping Code, and Blatter insisted football was leading the way in the fight against doping.

"We are the forerunners and work very closely with the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," he told the German daily.

Since the beginning of January, the Wada code requires elite athletes to give notice of their location on a chosen one-hour period each day, seven days a week.

Fifa and UEFA have rejected the notion of having to inform doping officials of the individual location of team-sport athletes.

Both footballing bodies say testing for team players should only take place at training grounds and not during holiday periods.

In the dispute with football's governing bodies, Wada president John Fahey has meanwhile accused Fifa and UEFA of ignoring reality in their opposition to out-of-competition drugs testing.

But Blatter told the FAZ: "We offer other federations our help and have a network of 3000 doctors who can undertake doping controls. We can also make our doctors available to Wada.

"We in football are the ones who carry out the most doping controls in the world. Football too is not free of doping cases but we are doing what we can."

Blatter said footballers were always together in training or matches and their whereabouts were known. - Sapa-DPA

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