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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019

Drugs in football? New report shows 7.7% of top-level players have high testosterone levels

The governing body have played down the figures quoted and says no definitive conclusions can be drawn.

UEFA HAVE RESPONDED to claims that the number of footballers taking drugs is significant.

The governing body commissioned a report which found 7.7% of the 879 players who gave anonymous urine samples registered high testosterone levels.

The samples came mainly from players who featured in the Champions League and Europa League.

According to The Sunday Times, 68 players recorded ‘atypical’ results – something the newspaper says hints at the use of anabolic steroids.

As well as the British newspaper, two German broadcasters – ARD and WDR – have also questioned just how widespread drug use is in football.

But UEFA have played down the results, saying it was difficult to look too much into them for various reasons.

In a statement released on Saturday, the governing body argued that there was no ‘B’ sample taken from players and that there was no further analysis carried out either.

This study does not present any scientific evidence of potential doping in football especially due to the presence of confounding factors, the lack of standardisation procedures among the 12 laboratories, and the quantification of steroid profiles when the samples were collected.”

“Furthermore, there was an inability to perform a second analysis [B sample] as required now by the WADA international standards for laboratories.

“The study simply shows that the introduction of steroidal biological passport in football would be beneficial by offering further analysis possibilities in case of atypical test results.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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