FIFA: NKorea case shows tough anti-doping stand
The swift decision to submit the entire North Korea squad to
anti-doping controls at the women’s World Cup showed soccer’s
commitment to the fight against drugs, FIFA’s medical chief said
Michel D’Hooghe told The Associated Press that FIFA anti-doping
doctors were called up at short notice from across Germany to
submit all North Korean players to tests after two returned
positive samples during random controls earlier in the
”We really lived by the rules and it should improve our
reputation,” D’Hooghe said in a telephone interview.
Defenders Song Jong Sun and Jong Pok Sim tested positive after
North Korea’s first two group games and were suspended for
Wednesday’s match against Colombia that ended in a 0-0 draw.
FIFA didn’t identify the substance involved and said neither the
players nor the team requested a ”B” sample test within the
12-hour deadline. FIFA said it requested such a test.
”Testing two isn’t difficult, but 20 is a totally different
story,” D’Hooghe said. ”It took a big move since we had to
practically get all our female testers from across the country to
come to Bochum at short notice.”
The two defenders were included in the starting lineup against
Colombia but were taken off the list and provisionally suspended
when the results of the drug tests came in shortly before
Hours after the tests, the North Korean team left Germany for
The head of FIFA’s medical committee said the two players
testing positive raised suspicions that it could be a team
”That is why we took a look at all the players,” he said.
D’Hooghe said the results should be known in about a week and
likely before the July 17 final.
He said he was aware that critics point to the low levels of
positive tests in soccer as indicating that FIFA has been lenient
”It has never been the case,” he said. ”Now we have a case
and we are happy that it was detected. And, if necessary, we will
be happy to have it sanctioned.”
The last doping case at the men’s World Cup was Diego Maradona,
who was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States after
testing positive for stimulants. He was banned for 15 months.
Last month, five Mexico players tested positive for clenbuterol
in pre-competition testing at the Gold Cup. Soccer officials
allowed Mexico to replace the players. FIFA president Sepp Blatter
said that contaminated meat was the cause.
North Korea finished the tournament without scoring a goal. It
lost 2-0 to the United States and 1-0 to Sweden before a draw with