7th November 2019
FIFPRO welcomes the landmark decision to amend the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency Code to reduce the disciplinary sanction to as little as one month for athletes where they test positive for a substance which is unrelated to sports performance.
The amendment corrects an injustice that has damaged the lives and livelihoods of a series of professional footballers who have been punished with bans for as long as four years under current anti-doping regulations.
Some of these footballers have endured lengthy and expensive legal battles in an unsuccessful effort to clear their names in cases which have been doomed from the start because of the rigid nature of the WADA Code over the last two decades.
FIFPRO will request that FIFA introduces the change to football regulations immediately to prevent further cases of injustice between now and the official introduction of the 2021 WADA Code.
The amendment to the WADA Code follows campaigning by FIFPRO and our colleagues at World Players Association.
Notably, FIFPRO campaigned over the case of Paolo Guerrero who would have missed the 2018 World Cup under unfair circumstances. Guerrero, Peru’s national team captain, tested positive for a substance that all parties agreed was not performance-enhancing.
His ban was suspended until after the World Cup after the captains of France, Australia and Denmark - Peru’s group stage opponents - signed a FIFPRO letter asking for Guerrero to be allowed to play in the tournament.