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What is The FA doing to help prevent doping in football?

The FA combines research, education and testing to operate one of the most comprehensive national anti-doping programmes in world sport.

Working with UK Anti-Doping [UKAD], The FA’s programme applies to all clubs in the professional game with testing across first teams, reserve teams, under-21 teams and youth teams for Premier League and English Football League clubs. In addition, drug testing is conducted on teams in The FA Women’s Super League and The FA Women’s Championship; England Men’s; Women’s and Development teams.

The programme is research and intelligence-led, as well as being flexible in order to be able to respond to any emerging doping risk and adaptable to meet the demands of the growing game, with the number of drug tests carried out increasing year-on-year. Players are subject to blood and urine testing, including an Athlete Biological Passport programme and urine steroid profiling.

A positive test for any banned substance listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] Prohibited List can lead to a four-year suspension for a first offence. A player can be tested anytime and anywhere, including at home, on a ‘no advance notice’ basis, regardless of whether they have or haven’t been absent from training that day.

The FA has a clear position on social drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis, in that their use is banned at all times. A positive test for a social drug on a non-match day is not a WADA offence. However, in line with The FA’s tough stance on social drugs, it is a breach of The FA’s own social drugs policy regulations and will lead to a suspension.

For more information on The FA’s anti-doping programme visit www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/anti-doping