Rio de Janeiro: A decision to make seven Costa Rica players undergo dope tests instead of the usual two following their World Cup 2014 match against Italy was standard procedure, football governing body Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has said.
Costa Rica were angry about the incident after the 1-0 Group D win in Recife on Friday, saying it could cause suspicion.
However, a Fifa spokeswoman said that two of the players were called for the post-match anti-doping tests as usual while the remaining five needed to be tested for their so-called biological passports.
More than 90% of the players at World Cup 2014 were tested for the biological passports before the tournament, while the remainder, including the five Costa Ricans, have to be tested during the competition, the spokeswoman said.
“This was the standard procedure, there was nothing suspicious," she told a Fifa media briefing.
Costa Rica’s federation criticized the way the tests were conducted in a statement on their website (www.fedefutbolcr.com).
“We believe, accept and trust the doping controls which are carried out by Fifa, but want an explanation as to why so many players were called," said Adrian Gutierrez, president of the federation’s national team committee.
“What is surprising is that seven players were taken to the anti-doping test at the same time, which leads to the suspicion that Costa Rica’s players are involving in doping."
Costa Rica, who also beat Uruguay in their opening game, have qualified for the knock-out stages of World Cup 2014 for only the second time. Reuters
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