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Doping: 95% of Liga players unaware of existence of WADA

A survey of 1,324 by the Granada University Sports Science department revealed that 97 percent of players don't what substances are banned in the sport.

Doping: 95% of Liga players unaware of existence of WADA

A study carried out by the Granada University department of sports sciences has revealed that 97.4 percent of footballers in Spain do not know what substances are banned under the rules of the sport and 95 percent are unaware of the existence of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The survey of 1,324 players in the Spanish divisions covered 88 teams and included 304 plying their trade in the top three tiers of LaLiga. The results were considered eye-catching enough to earn the paper publication in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

The investigating team from Granada University described the study as the first of its kind and noted it revealed the “difficulty of obtaining this type of [study] sample of the taboo of the combination of the terms football and doping.”

Five percent of players admit taking banned substances

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Five percent of respondents admitted to having taken prohibited substances at some point in their careers and 23.7 said that they were aware of teammates who had also done so.

Cases of doping in football remain relatively infrequent compared to other sports and those that do come to light are often caused by a player taking a fairly innocuous substance – a prescription or an over-the-counter treatment for everyday ailments – although there have been high-profile cases of alleged recreational drug use such as that of Peru star Paolo Guerrero, who received a FIFA ban after testing positive to a byproduct of cocaine consumption.

Samir Nasri infamously posted pictures of his visit to a drip treatment clinic in Los Angeles in 2016, for which he received an 18-month ban. The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Sevilla player later explained that he was unaware of anti-doping rules.