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City move to stop players missing out on drug tests

By Ian Herbert

Manchester City are likely to investigate how to ensure players who miss training give them advance notice, after being charged by the Football Association with a breach of anti-doping rules, it is understood.

City's medical department is thought to be responsible for ensuring that the club comply with rules ensuring that the FA know exactly where players are every day, so that random drug tests can take place.

But though players are supposed to be personally responsible if their expected whereabouts change, clubs can find it difficult to drum the message home and City are among those who have faced an uphill task with certain individuals in the past.

City have not commented on the FA's decision to charge them with misconduct for a failure on three occasions to comply with Regulation 14(d) of their anti-doping code, which deals with the whereabouts of players. But the bad publicity attached to the charge is likely to be a frustration to a club who take their professionalism very seriously.

Each club has a designated officer who must produce weekly plans for the FA, filled in online, with times and venues of training sessions for that week, plus the names of players who will be present. These must be submitted half an hour before the start of the week's first session.

One lower league club told yesterday of a staff member running around before 10am to check with the physios that all the players were in, had not been given a day off or were not at a hospital - in which case, that location must also be spelled out.

"You have to be really organised and staff and players have to communicate," said a source. "It has taken some getting used to as it is completely alien. And also people genuinely forget to tell others when plans change."

Belfast Telegraph


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