Social Doping in Football – A Harsh Lesson Learnt

Social Doping in Football – A Harsh Lesson Learnt
Josh Yorwerth, a 23-year-old football player employed by Peterborough United, was sacked by the club after evading an anti-doping test and admitting to cocaine use. He received a four-year ban from The Football Association in February 2019, the longest doping related ban ever sanctioned in English professional football.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many footballers over the years have used recreational drugs. In almost every instance there has been no link at all to enhancing sporting performance and perhaps this is why WADA, pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Code, do not consider substances such as cocaine taken out of competition as an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. Cocaine is a non-specified stimulant banned in-competition only.

As such, if such substances are found in a player’s sample provided in-competition, then the player is looking at a starting point sanction of 4 years and will have an uphill battle to get much below 2 years.

In England, the Football Association, in conjunction with the other stakeholders (the Leagues and the players’ union, the PFA) have...

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