“Football is clean.” Famous words uttered by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo when asked why there are no dope positives in the Beautiful Game. But if you believe that, then you will also believe the world is flat, the moon is made from cheese and the stork delivers babies. A quick glance at the amount of positive doping tests in global sport in 2013 and the ongoing saga of Lance Armstrong will tell you that sport is rotten to the core. Where there is money and a competition, cheating will happen.
So why not football? After all it is the sport most played in the world, attracts the biggest chunk of the global sponsorship pie (if figures are to be believed it is some 80% of global sponsorship spend) and the World Cup attracts by far the biggest Global TV Audience of any sporting event in the World (yes even the Olympic Games) – these statements courtesy of FIFA which is reason enough to question them. The extremes athletes will go to win are well documented.
The classic case being Lance Armstrong who took himself and his team on a systematic doping program that saw him “win” seven Tours de France. And if you thought that football players have never doped have a look at this article that shows just how “clean” the Beautiful Game has been over the years: http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.4dfoot.com%2F2013%2F02%2F09%2Fdoping-in-football-fifty-years-of-evidence%2F&h=iAQF8wjsWAQGg81mgeCAdtx3fAxiKpRmLe6H0RXI3tHGWLg&enc=AZMqTXYhyW6FDArXHPqKHZnSL1Laz1sJOK2-vok5tFv5DflNafNkOITQwwKX2uBkb7gFljFpKWqWjovB2pDR0wzP&s=1
So why would footballers dope? Well add 90 minutes of sprinting and around 10 kilometres covered per match and the question to ask is why not dope? Doping is not about getting big ala weightlifting or WWE, but rather about the “positives” you get from doping.
Taken correctly, drugs allow athletes to recover quicker than the normal person from training sessions. Hence the ability to do more hard training and therefore to be that much fitter, faster and yes stronger. Why would FIFA “hide” positives? Well they are a law unto themselves really.
With more money and viewership than the Olympics, why should they subscribe to the Olympic Code of Conduct (another topic for another day because there are huge problems there too). The IOC – the Olympic governing body, formed the World Anti-Doping Association. But let’s be honest, with all the money and power that FIFA wield, they do not need the Olympics.
In fact I would say that the Olympics “need” football more. So there is no need for football to subscribe to the World Anti-Doping Code which leaves them with total control and means they can cover up any doping cases.
In fact if you read through the link above you will see that even the Spanish Judiciary is implicated in a doping cover up involving Real Madrid and Barcelona. The only way you can bring FIFA to its knees is through pressure from corporates, and they won’t because it is not in their interests to have FIFA play open cards. So trust me when I tell you, doping is rife in the world of football.