UEFA reveals proposals to step up fight against doping

UEFA has announced that it will introduce "the strongest anti-doping programme ever seen in European football" this season.

In a statement, the European game's governing body has revealed the measures it will impose in an attempt to eradicate the threat of doping.

It will introduce the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) steroidal biological passport to improve the identification of steroid use.

There will also be "a strengthening of rules related to team and player whereabouts; long-term sample storage to permit the retrospective identification of prohibited substances; and a continuation of its comprehensive blood and urine testing programme."

UEFA also revealed that it had signed agreements with the national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) of countries with teams in the Champions League.

Agreements have been reached with organisations in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium (Flemish), the UK, Sweden, France and Italy, with more set to follow.

Michel D'Hooghe, the chairman of the UEFA medical committee, said: "UEFA has always aimed to be at the forefront of efforts to keep football free from doping, and recent events in other sports have highlighted the importance of remaining ever vigilant and pushing for progress in all areas of our work.

"Although our doping statistics remain low amongst players in UEFA competitions, there can never be room for complacency."

UEFA said it carries out over 2,000 drug tests across all its competitions each season.