Fifa clamps down on doping ahead of World Cup

The introduction of the biological passport ahead of the summer showpiece in Brazil will help world football's governing body ensure the tournament is contested cleanly

As the 2014 World Cup approaches, Fifa have introduced new tests to ensure football's elite players are not doping throughout the sport's biggest international tournament.

A new method of testing players for banned substances has been introduced as Fifa has become the first international sports authority to introduce the biological passport and players are being tested unannounced before the tournament.

Professor Jiri Dvorak, Fifa's chief medical officer, and Martial Saugy, director of the LAD Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, are in charge of the doping analysis for the tournament and say they will test every single player before the tournament begins.

"We are introducing a completely new approach with the implementation of the biological profile," Dvorak told Fifa's official website.

"We are testing all the players from every team prior to the competition in unannounced controls. The results of those analyses will be compared with samples from previous competitions and from in-competition controls during the World Cup in order to detect potential deviations that may indicate an abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

"From the experience of the controls that we have carried out so far, the response from players, coaches and team managers has been very positive, demonstrating the general support of the football community to keep our sport free of doping."

And Saugy insists there are no signs from the early tests which indicate any kind of doping from players.

"The first results are still confidential and not published, but they definitively show that among those top teams, there have been no significant deviations from the norms."

While football has often been criticised and accused for a lack of action towards doping, Professor Dvorak believes world football's governing body is taking the correct measures.

"The Fifa Medical Committee is of the opinion that our strategy of focusing on education and prevention combined with a programme of stringent in-and-out-of-competition controls pays off.

"The introduction of the biological profile for the World Cup including both blood and steroid parameters shows our consequent follow-up of this strategy in the fight against doping.

"If we look at World Anti-Doping Agency statistics we can see that football is by far the number one sport in terms of anti-doping tests – around 30,000 tests each year – and the number of positive cases compared to other sports is very low."