World Anti-Doping Code: new changes after unfair sanctions

FIFPRO welcomed the historic decision to amend the Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency 2021 to reduce the disciplinary sanction to only one month (in some cases) for those athletes who test positive for substances that do not affect athletic performance.

The amendment remedies an injustice that has seriously affected the lives and livelihoods of a number of professional footballers who were penalized with bans for up to four years under current anti-doping regulations.

Some of these players have endured long and costly legal confrontations in a failed effort to clear their names in cases that were lost beforehand, due to the demanding nature of the AMA code over the past two decades.

FIFPRO will request that FIFA introduce the change in football regulations immediately to avoid other cases of injustice between the current moment and the official implementation of the AMA 2021 Code.

The amendment to the AMA Code is due to the campaigns carried out by FIFPRO and our partners in the World Players Association.

In particular, FIFPRO campaigned for the case of Paolo Guerrero, who would have missed the 2018 World Cup in unfair circumstances. Guerrero, captain of the Peruvian national team, tested positive for a substance that, as agreed by all parties, did not improve performance.

The ban was suspended until after the World Cup, after the captains of France, Australia and Denmark, the Peru rivals in the group stage, signed a letter to FIFPRO requesting that Guerrero could play in the championship.