FIFA warns of drug abuse

2012-06-06 14:14
Johannesburg - Footballers across the globe have been warned of the long-term effects of painkillers following the release of information gathered over the past 14 years.

FIFA chief medical officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak, was part of the team tasked with collecting information on the various medications players took prior to matches, including those at the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

It has now be confirmed around 39% of all players at the tournament were on one sort of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or another.

Dvorak has now moved to warn players of the dangerous effects of 'abusing' painkillers, telling FIFA's official website: "Since 1998 we've collected data about the intake of medication for all players at every FIFA tournament, which roughly equates to 55 competitions from U-17 tournaments to senior club and national team competitions.

"The results are striking. Even at U-17 level, between 20-25 percent of players are taking anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers and this increases to senior World Cup levels, which sees 30-35 per cent of usage. When we combine that with the usage of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it equates to about half of the players.

"Some of the players are probably taking this medication without a prescription from the team doctors, they're just taking them and then telling the doctor. Others are taking them under prescription from the doctors as they're suffering some kind of pain or discomfort.

"But other players could also be using these painkillers in advance to reduce the pain caused by potential discomfort during a match. That could be dangerous. By masking symptoms through painkillers, you could be covering something which could be important in the long run.

"First of all, we need to raise awareness with the physicians responsible for the teams in all member associations so they think twice before prescribing this type of medication.

"Every medication you take has potential side effects, such as the building of blood content, but it could also have a negative effect on the function of the liver and kidneys, particularly if a particular medication has been taken for a long time. Some of the medications can also irritate the gastro-intestinal tract which can lead to internal bleeding of different magnitudes.

Read more on:    fifa  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.