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Wenger 'convinced' English clubs aren't doping

The Arsenal manager has long been outspoken on the subject, calling for blood testing to be introduced in 2013.
Jan 21st 2016, 5:58 PM 2,869 4

ARSENE WENGER SAYS he does not believe there is any doping in English football but is ready to sit down with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after chief executive Nicole Sapstead admitted she would like to meet with the Arsenal manager.

The Frenchman has long been an advocate for more comprehensive checks to be made on the use of drugs in football and called for blood testing to be introduced in 2013.

Wenger was particularly frustrated to see Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi test positive after playing in a Champions League victory over his side earlier this season but he does not think that Premier League clubs are cheating.

“Does doping happen in English football? No,” he told reporters. ”I’m sure that not one club in England is trying to dope its players. I’m absolutely 100 per cent convinced that nobody in England tries to do that as a club. I’m convinced of it.

“I have more desire than time to talk to UKAD, but I am always happy to help people who want to fight against doping if I can. I’ve said what I had to say and I’ve not got a lot more to do.

I just think in our job, in football especially, we look like we want to tackle the problem now. It looked to me for a long period that we didn’t.

“I’m available. I do not have a special desire, I just want to help tackle doping because we all have a responsibility to fight against it. If they feel they need to talk to me then I am available. What is important to me is that we all have to show that we don’t accept it.

“It is important that when a guy wins, we think it is because he is the best and not because he is taking illegal substances. On the other hand it’s a health issue as well. We have experienced people who have died early because they were doping, which means they took it without any medical assistance.

“That is even more dangerous. It’s a justice issue and a health issue.”

The Football Association’s (FA) director of football governance and administration, Darren Bailey, says the governing body is doing everything within its powers to keep the sport clean.

“We discussed this matter with Mr Wenger some weeks ago when the comments were made and both agree this is an extremely important subject,” Bailey said on the FA’s official website.

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“However, just as UKAD confirmed yesterday, the FA has no current information to suggest the public cannot trust in the measures we have in place nor should anyone think English football would ever get complacent to the risks of doping.

“The integrity of our game at all levels is of paramount importance which is why we are committed to ensuring it is maintained.

“No other national governing body in the UK dedicates as much resource to prevent doping in its sport and the FA operates one of the most comprehensive national anti-doping testing programmes in the world. We conducted 2,286 tests in season 2014-15.

“Drug testing is conducted in and out of competition on a no-notice basis including at players’s home addresses. In addition, the FA runs a blood profiling and a urine steroid profiling programme.

“There have been exceptionally few unusual results in English football and none which have so far suggested a doping issue.”

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