Fifa reports that there are no positive drugs tests after the Russian Football World Cup 2018.
In an unbelievable twist of good fortune, FIFA – the international governing body for the entire sport of soccer – has announced that not a single, solitary player that participated in the World Cup in 2018 tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, or any of the other prohibited substances.
More than 1500 players that participated in this global tournament were tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Participants were tested before the tournament began, during the run of the tournament, and after the tournament had concluded.
For no player to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, particularly with the allegedly Russian state-sponsored doping scandal that had brought the national team previous to the Winter Olympics, is nothing short of incredible.
These World Cup games were hosted in Russia which brought even more layers of scrutiny to games that are already held under a microscope. Every player from every country participating past extensive and unannounced tests that included urine samples, blood samples, and serum testing – testing protocols that were double and triple checked by independent agencies to verify that there was absolutely no potential for abuse whatsoever.
It’s impossible to say that the sample collection that took place during the Winter Olympics was random. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to FIFA officials, there wasn’t anything at all random about the tests and that instead all players were going to be made subject to these testing protocols no matter what.
Each individual athlete had their bio information measured against they are Athlete Passport Management Unit, a bio passport that tracks their important vitals, blood levels, and other details to help detect long-term performance-enhancing drug use masked by conventional means.
Every single of the samples that had been collected were submitted for analysis at the world renowned laboratories used by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). A fair share of these tests were analyzed in the global headquarters for PED testing in France.
FIFA has always been serious about working with multinational and international organizations to curb the potential for performance-enhancing drug abuse in the sport of soccer. As the largest international body for the world’s most popular sport, they want to make sure that this game is played on a level a playing field as possible.
Though there have been some pretty high profile suspensions for soccer players in the past, and many expected there to be a considerable amount of athletes suspended from this World Cup, sports fans, professionals, and pundits around the world are happy that no one popped positive and that the games – including the Cinderella story of Croatia – had no outside influence upon them.
The samples that had been collected by these soccer players were tested for anabolic steroids as well as numerous forms of growth hormone and other banned substances. A handful of players had tested positive for some of these banned substances, though all of those that “popped positive” had already received previous waivers and permission to use the banned substances for legitimate medicinal purposes.
These waivers aren’t just handed out by FIFA officials, and players that are found to have abused these kinds of waivers aren’t just levied a suspension that performance-enhancing drug users receive but also get an extra suspension (and significant findings) on top of that for defrauding the international game of soccer.
Hopefully the world’s best athletes continue to compete without the use of performance-enhancing drugs moving forward. We will know soon enough whether or not this World Cup was an aberration or if performance-enhancing drug use is on the decline just as soon as the Summer Olympics kickoff in two more years.