Arsenal manager Wenger guns for tougher rules on doping in football. He claims the current regulations do not adequately discourage drug cheats in soccer.
UEFA DOPING RULES: The outspoken Arsene Wenger is firmly against doping in football. He questioned the Union of European Football Associations current rulings.
They have no way of disqualifying a guilty team from a continental competition (unless more than 2 players fail a doping test).
His frustration hit the headlines this week. Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi got a four-year ban for failing a drugs test.
Matters worsened for Arsenal Football Club. The Croatian side beat them 2-1 in the September fixture of the Champions League in Zagreb.
Arsenal's European hopes hang by a thread. They need to beat them at the return leg played at the Emirates Stadium to stand any chance of getting out of their group.
When the Frenchman made a reply about the regulations he thought the rules were 'strange' and then went on to say:
"It's a surprising rule. UEFA applies the rule that is planned but I personally don't agree with the rule. You cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands. That means you basically accept doping. But it is the rule and we accept that. We have to look at ourselves and deal with our own performance."
He adamantly believes that the rules on footballing drug cheats need toughening up. But, he admitted that he did not know how much public backing he would receive.
UEFA's doping team visited Arsenal's training ground shortly after his recent public comments. As a result, the players received a control test from them in the same week.
Commenting further, Wenger admitted; "We had 10 people on Friday to control us. I do not want to speculate too much on the career of a player. In between (the match in September and now) he has been punished. There are two things: our performance on the day and the fact that they had a doped player."
Doping regulations forbid 3 or more players testing positive for a punishment of disqualification to be doled out. Thus, Dinamo did not get disqualified from the competition. Zagreb coach Mamic said their side will appeal the ban.
He also responded with stinging comments to Wenger's call to improve testing procedures. He said: "Mr. Wenger can think and talk about what he wants. But, there are other people who make decisions about that and that will be in the future."
He then went on to say "I can suggest him to write the rules for UEFA. I think this situation is not the point of this press conference so we don't need to talk about Ademi. I don't think there is a problem with doping in football. There are cases in football but they are rare. Football is quite a clean sport."
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