UEFA’s comprehensive anti-doping testing programme for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 matched the overall success of the event – all samples collected by UEFA as part of the programme tested negative.
The anti-doping programme – the largest-ever implemented in the UEFA European Women’s Championship – began in January 2022 and lasted until the completion of the final tournament in England at the end of last month.
UEFA worked closely with several national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) from countries taking part in the tournament to coordinate testing activities and share information.
A total of 416 samples were collected by UEFA and the NADOs from January 2022 until the end of the tournament – with 208 of them collected by UEFA during this period.
In-competition and out-of-competition testing
According to testing data stored in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database, UEFA collected 84 samples out-of-competition from players who gathered with their national teams during the international weeks of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifying matches in February and April, as well as in the immediate pre-tournament period in June and at training base camps and team hotels between matches during the tournament.
In addition, 124 samples were collected in-competition by UEFA during tests performed at all 31 matches at the final tournament.
All of the samples collected by UEFA during the pre-tournament testing programme and final tournament were negative.
London laboratory analysis
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in London was contracted to analyse the samples in accordance with the tournament schedule. In-competition samples were analysed within 24 or 48 hours of receipt by the laboratory, depending on the competition stage, to ensure that the initial results were known before the teams’ next games.
All samples were also added to the players’ biological passports, which allows the monitoring of naturally occurring biomarkers (such as testosterone and haemoglobin) over time; variations may be indicators of doping, but can also provide intelligence for target testing.
UEFA worked closely with the expert athlete passport management unit at the Lausanne laboratory in Switzerland to ensure that prompt monitoring of the passports could inform target testing of players both before and during the tournament.
Under UEFA’s long-term sample storage programme, all samples from Women’s EURO 2022 will be stored for ten years. This means that UEFA will be in a position to reanalyse any samples if and when required.