A leading expert on drugs in sport has claimed that recreational drugs like cocaine and marijuana are ‘widespread’ among professional footballers in England and that the FA don’t take drug-testing as seriously as they ought to.
Ivan Waddington is a leading lecturer at the University of Chester and has spent years studying the use of drugs in sport. Waddington undertook a survey in 2005 with the aid of the PFA in which players admitted that the use of recreational drugs was ‘commonplace’.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent in 2018, Waddington outlined his fears that the “FA doesn’t take drugs testing as seriously as it ought to”.
Waddington’s previous claims have come to light again following reports that an England footballer was caught snorting cocaine at a party over the Christmas period.
“I don’t think the FA takes drug testing as seriously as it ought to – it will deny that of course,” Waddington said.
“And I certainly don’t think the football clubs take drug testing as seriously they ought to. And again, individual clubs will deny that.”
Waddington admitted that they are well aware of players taking the drugs because many had previously admitted to it but no action was taken.
“In both our studies the professional footballers told us that the use of recreational drugs is widespread. There can be no doubt about that.
“The recreational drugs which are most used are cocaine and marijuana.
“There’s no difficulty about picking up marijuana. The test is technically sound and there’s no difficulty about picking up cocaine.
“We know that large numbers of these players are using these drugs because they told us so why aren’t they being picked up?”
The FA responded to allegations that an English footballer was thrown out of a nightclub for snorting cocaine claiming that incidents like this are very rare, however, they did encourage any witnesses to step forward.
“We encourage anyone with information about any anti-doping violation in football to report it to The FA.”