Drug's in football

Last updated : 10 November 2005 By Sarah Rudd

Footballers, especially the English have always had a reputation for being unhealthy; drinking, smoking and sometimes taking the occasional recreational drug.

But things have changed.

Footballers have become more aware of the importance of a healthy body to improve performance.

Better awareness of health is undoubtedly a positive thing but some players have taken the fast route to achieve this.

In England unlike Holland, France, Germany, Spain and nortorisly Italy, no professional football player in the top division has ever been tested positive for a performance enhancing drug.

This was of course till Abel Xavier’s B sample test result was revealed on Monday to contain a banned steroid called Dianabol.

Could this be because the footballers here are more morally pure? Or maybe because the FA are more thorough than their European counterparts?

Both statements are highly unlikely.

In the 1999 – 2000 season testers were only present at only 32 of the 3,500-plus league games. Out of these games, samples were taken from just two players from each side.

This would mean you would have to play professional football in England for 432 years before having a 50% chance of being tested at a match.

Also with the amount of positive English tests in cycling, rugby and athletics it is difficult to believe that football is drug free.

Xavier’s personal hearing takes place in Switzerland on Thursday 17th November.