Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No soccer at the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has warned FIFA that soccer could be ruled out of the games unless they adopt stronger anti-doping rules. Still, FIFA president Sepp Blatter thinks a deal can be reached.

The main issue is punishment for doping. IOC requires 2-year bans while FIFA is happy with a 6-month ban. If this is not worked out, then there will be no soccer as, "Olympic Charter provides that no sport can be included or remain in the program of the Olympic Games if it does not comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency."

Olympic Soccer is far from matching the World Cup, but is still a fantastic tournament featuring some of the best in the world. If it was done away with because FIFA didn't think their athletes were 'clean' enough to not worry about long bans, it will be a huge disgrace for the game.

Update: The Moroccan soccer federation has suspended five members of its Olympic team for failing doping tests. All play for Moroccan clubs. The drug that flunked them? Marijuana.


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