Doping has been reported by the largest online football/soccer publication in the world, Goal to be less widely associated with football due to lack of evidence.
The Definition of Doping
Doping is described by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as the consumption of banned substances and performance-enhancing materials designed to improve sporting performance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the other hand refer it as the intentional or unintentional use of prohibited substances and prohibited methods on the current doping list. WADA description is the world-recognized standard of defining doping in sporting activities.
Why Use Doping Substances?
Players using doping are assumed to experience improved strength and stamina. These players as observed by Goal could have an edge during extra time or significantly present an enhanced sprint speed for important matches.
The use of doping substances is also reported to be more common among young athletes due to the pressure of constantly performing at high levels.
“Many athletes will feel under considerable pressure to constantly perform at the highest levels – both by themselves and their peers – and, as shown by cases across sports, some will be tempted to resort to doping to enhance their chances of winning.”
“Athletes who have suffered substantial injuries will be tempted to take to doping in the hopes of accelerating their healing process.” Goal noted.
Sometimes, these athletes may take the prohibited substance unknowingly through wrong diet or food supplements. This does in no way vindicate them of committing the offense of doping if tested positive.
“Ignorance, peer pressure and a lack of insight about the negative effects of doping leads some athletes to take substances that they don’t know are banned.”
As highlighted by Goal the main concern of the sporting governing bodies and organizations is not only the edge these players might have above others but also the dangers the consumption of the substance may present their health.
Doping Is illegal
The punishment for football players who test positive for steroids for the first time was increased from two years to four years before the 2010 world cup held in South Africa. This according to WADA was to further discourage the athletes from engaging in such an act at all.
Athletes who test positive but could offer substantial information that may help the agency in better fighting the practice were promised immunity from punishment according to an additional regulation implemented by the Drug Agency.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) punishment for players found guilty of intentionally participating in trafficking or use of prohibited substances is a lifetime ban from the sport.
Athletes who also evade doping test for more than three times or encourages a third-party to violate the anti-doping laws may also be banned.
A 2016 report of doping test conducted by FIFA revealed that only 33,227 among the 65,000 professional male and female soccer players were tested. Only 0.29 percent of the examined athletes tested positive.
This report according to Goal review further confirmed the allegations by important figures that FIFA is not doing enough to fight doping in the sport.
Hajo Seppelt, a German journalist, and author, who is a strong advocate of anti-doping while speaking to the CNN said:
“People who say that there is no doping problem in football, that’s bull**t,”
Diego Maradona (Argentina), Abel Xavier (Middlesbrough), Adrian Mutu (Chelsea), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Paolo Guerrero (Peru), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) are some of the notable football players accused and/or punished for doping so far.