New plan to root out Premier League drug cheats

Monday, July 29th, 2019 4:38pm

By Patrick Christys @PatrickChristys

Are football authorities covering up a major scandal?

Is there a monumental doping problem in world football that's being covered up by the authorities?

Love Sport Breakfast spoke to Mark Thompson, a doping expert at the University of Hull, who thinks it's a serious possibility.

It comes after revelations over the weekend that 11 Premier League stars who tested positive for banned substances were allowed to continue playing by the FA.

These substances included morphine, amphetamines, ritalin and, crucially, indapamide, which can mask the presence of other performance enhancing drugs.

Football stars can be given retrospective Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE), which mean they can swerve the performance enhancing substance laws on medical grounds.

But Mr Thompson thinks these should be banned.

He told Love Sport's Patrick Christys and Richard Lee: "In terms of the TUE system there's a very simple change we can make to that that would help flush some of these people out.

"They should stop allowing retrospective TUEs because if you need a drug for your asthma you should be having a TUE well before you perform because that asthma isn't ultimately going to go away.

"Players in every single game get taken out for testing. You'd like to logically think it would be very difficult to get away with it. But there are a number of substances that can be used to cloud whether they're taking these drugs.

"There's certainly more going on than we expect.

"Even the former head of WADA, Dick Pound, said the lack of adverse findings in the world's most popular sport is somewhat suspicious."

The reports over the weekend, which come from official WADA figures, show that ex-Manchester United and West Ham striker Carlos Tevez has a TUE at the 2010 World Cup, as did Liverpool legend Dirk Kuyt.

You can hear the full interview here.


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