UEFA leads on anti-doping with pre-Euros education workshop in Nyon

April 22 – Football took another step in underlining its commitment to promoting and protecting clean sport this week as global and European organisations gathered at an anti-doping education workshop in Nyon, Switzerland.

UEFA say that more than 100 representatives from its member associations, national anti-doping organisations (NADOs), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Council of Europe, iNADO and the International Testing Agency took part in the two-day event which highlighted the importance of awareness, prevention and support.

The event was closely coordinated with UEFA’s anti-match fixing programme last week as the body looks for a clean tournament this summer.

“Our approach is built around the principle that a player’s first experience with anti-doping should be through education rather than testing,” said Marc Vouillamoz, UEFA’s head of anti-doping.

The meeting ruled that from the start of the 2024/25 season, senior national team players and support staff will also be required to complete anti-doping education at least once every two years.

The workshop also celebrated WADA’s Play True Day 2024, marking its 10th anniversary by echoing the goal of ensuring that every footballer in Europe is educated on the importance of clean sport.

During the workshop, a panel discussion of medical professionals highlighted the need to “provide specific education to coaches and team doctors, given their crucial roles in creating supportive environments and helping players fulfil their own anti-doping responsibilities”.

Doping in football was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when World Cup winner Paul Pogba was banned for four years after using testosterone to aid his performance and recovery. His usage was discovered via a drugs test conducted by Italy’s national anti-doping organisation (NADO Italia), which found elevated levels of endurance-increasing testosterone in his system.

UEFA’s approach looks to educate players on the risks (and implications) of using PEDs, in the hopes of avoiding suspensions such as Pogba’s in the future.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1716033211labto1716033211ofdlr1716033211owedi1716033211sni@g1716033211niwe.1716033211yrrah1716033211