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Soccer Leader Objects to Two-Year Bans for Doping -- October 10, 2003

By Phillip Whitten

LONG BEACH, Calif., October 10. EVEN as the Women's World Soccer Championships were taking place, Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA -- that sport's international governing body -- demonstrated once again the moral bankruptcy of the purported international sporting "leaders."

At a press conference in Long Beach, calif., Blatter reiterated his previous objections to the mandatory two-year ban proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for serious doping offences, a proposal approved by the IOC and imposed upon all international federations.

"We don't agree that if someone is under 'doping arrest' he is under an automatic two year suspension," Blatter said of FIFA's position.

"We are dealing with every case individually. It's up to the disciplinary committee or judge to decide."

Blatter said in March that FIFA had signed the international agreement with WADA despite its objections to automatic bans.

And he said the International Olympic Committee had "accepted FIFA's standpoint."

"The IOC is a club," Blatter said. "The authority remains with the international federations."

He also said that FIFA was not the only governing body to insist on handing positive drug test results on a case by case basis.

"We are not the only federation that are not using the two years," he said.

Ironically swimming activists, who had fought hard for a four-year ban and seen it enacted by FINA, were crushed by the IOC's and WADA's "minimalist," two-year
ban, which FINA was bludgeoned into accepting in July.