Doping Board Chairman: Good to shake things up
From this football season, the Doping Authority will begin to conduct fully independent and targeted examinations of Dutch professional football. Clubs and players can also expect surprise visits to training sessions and the old system, in which controls were allocated based on the lottery, will be discontinued.
This is what Vincent Eggers, head of the Anti-Doping Agency, said in a conversation with NOS. According to him, it is necessary to “change” the way Dutch professional football is checked.
Prior to the Johan Cruyff Scale Battle, a notary appointed by the KNVB conducted a lottery that determined one hundred matches (out of a total of about 1,500 professional matches in the Netherlands) that would be checked for doping.
Eggers: “We will stop it. Now we will do it in a different way. Based on that intelligence We will determine where our doping inspectors go.”
Anyway, it’s good to change things up a bit.
“I didn’t think it was independent enough,” continues the Anti-Doping Agency chief. “We have to decide for ourselves where we’re going. If you record all the games you’re going to pre-season, you can’t really modify it.”
And Eggers, who was a major general in the past with Marichossy, wants checks in professional football based on intelligence. Tips and information about great performances after injuries, physical changes or things that happened in a player’s career may be helpful.
“We’ll see for every player if it’s interesting for us to control doping,” says the ex-soldier.
In recent seasons, the goal has been to make 100 checks in professional football. These checks were funded by the KNVB, which paid about 60 thousand euros to the Doping Authority.
WADA, the world anti-doping organization, has urged IGPRESS to move away from a model in which the federation funds its own controls. Even if there was no interference or insider knowledge by union officials, the appearance could be created that the controls were not independent.
In a conversation with KNVB Director Marianne Van Leeuwen, this summer, Eggers told her that KNVB funding should stop as of this season. The doping authority wants to pay checks in professional football out of its own pocket.
Controls during workouts
In addition to self-financing controls, EGPRESS also wants to increase the unpredictability of the doping approach. If it were up to him, clubs and players in Dutch football would regularly receive unexpected visits from inspectors after training sessions.
“We used very little of that,” says the Anti-Doping Director. Were things a bit messy? “I dare not say it, but at least it is good to change it.”
The figures from the Doping Agency do not show that doping is a major problem in football. In the past ten years, only a few have appeared, such as Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.
The numbers are also low abroad, and football, unlike some endurance and strength sports, is a low-risk sport in terms of doping use.
Therefore, there are limits to the new plans of the doping authority. Although Egbers likes to check all career choices, he can’t check too much due to limited budget. Three thousand tests are available for the entire major sport, so that additional checks in football have a direct impact on the number of checks in other sports.
According to Eggers, the final word on this has not yet been said. “This is the bottom water effect. We have to look closely at this. We want to talk to NOC*NSF in the near future about increasing the number of checks.”
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