UEFA anti-doping education campaign | Within UEFA
The strategy provides for targeted funding of associations through the UEFA HatTrick program and aims in particular to ensure that players’ first experience with anti-doping is education, rather than a doping test.
The crucial role of education
Football is the most tested sport in the world, and UEFA performs the third highest number of doping tests of any sporting body, with more than 3,000 samples collected per season.
UEFA carries out doping controls in all of its competitions. Therefore, it is essential that, at a minimum, players of national teams and clubs of national associations which qualify for UEFA competitions receive training before competing at international level.
Players and player support staff should also be provided with information, advice and support to enable them to make informed decisions about doping. The aim is to develop players who choose to be clean rather than discouraged by the fear of getting caught, and to protect clean footballers from accidental anti-doping rule violations.
To receive funding through the UEFA HatTrick program, European national associations will need to offer anti-doping education activities designed to raise awareness, inform, instill values and develop the decision-making skills of players and support staff. of players in order to prevent and unintentional doping.
UEFA member associations can apply for funding for the following activities:
• Sensitization – carry out campaigns to promote, support and strengthen a clean sports environment;
• Information – provide accurate and up-to-date anti-doping equipment to players and player support staff;
• Education – provide high quality anti-doping training to players and player support staff
Athletes should undergo anti-doping training at least once every two years to ensure their knowledge is up to date. This can be done through a face-to-face session, webinar, or online learning.
To ensure effective funding, member associations are encouraged to prepare and submit a training plan to UEFA each year. They will also be required to monitor and evaluate their programs each year and share their evaluation with UEFA.
“Anti-doping education is an essential pillar in the fight against doping and is the first line of defense to protect the rights of football players and the integrity of our sport,” said Marc Vouillamoz, medical and anti-doping manager of the ‘UEFA.
“Education will help players stay clean, avoid accidental rule violations and support them in their desire for a level playing field.”
Contribution of NADOs
UEFA member associations are invited to work with National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) to prepare and implement a training program in their specific country.
NADOs are considered the authority on clean sport education in their countries, and they aim to ensure that every athlete receives education before their first test. “Therefore, it is essential that [associations] work with NADOs to prepare an education plan, ”said Vouillamoz.
Meet international standards
Cooperation between UEFA and NADOs is also in line with the World Anti-Doping Code, which UEFA follows when implementing its comprehensive anti-doping program. The code sets out anti-doping rules, regulations and policies that must be followed by sports organizations around the world, and is supplemented by a series of binding international standards.
UEFA’s new anti-doping education campaign comes in response to a new International Standard for Education introduced earlier this year, which sets out the principles and minimum standards that education programs must achieve, and outlines the roles that sports organizations and NADOs should play in terms of athlete education.
One of the main responsibilities of international federations is “to require national federations to conduct education in cooperation with the applicable National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO)”.
“It is therefore crucial for UEFA to work with our member associations to ensure that effective anti-doping education is provided to football players at national level,” said Vouillamoz.
Since players and player support staff must not be inadvertently exposed to the risk of doping as a result of incorrect information, the UEFA training initiative stipulates that all training sessions must be provided by a trained and competent person.
Given the key role that team doctors play in the fight against doping in football, UEFA strongly recommends that associations secure the support of team doctors – who may be the most suitable people to help them. provide training sessions to players – before establishing a training plan with their NADO. .
Promote clean sport
The popularity of European football means that the game is ideally placed to have a positive influence on the behavior of young people.
With its new dynamic, UEFA not only ensures that football players across Europe have access to relevant and high-quality anti-doping education, but also uses football’s position to promote positive attitudes towards a clean sport.
“With the impetus given by WADA’s International Standard for Education and the financial support provided by HatTrick funding,” said Marc Vouillamoz, “UEFA wants to seize the opportunity to:
• Increase the amount of anti-doping education in European football
• Improve the quality of education already provided
• Improve the coordination of anti-doping education
“We have to make sure,” Vouillamoz concluded, “that in the search for the best performances, there is absolutely no excuse that anyone – players and teams – does not play cleanly.”