Six professional footballers failed tests for recreational drugs last season
Recreational drugs tested for include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD and ecstasy
Six professional footballers have failed anti-doping tests for recreational drugs over the course of last season, as reported by inews.co.uk.
The identities of the players have been kept private, but the leagues were the Premier League, all of the English Football League and Under-21 and Women’s Super Leagues.
The news comes after the FA commissioned an out-of-competition programme for drugs testing. This means that the testing was conducted separately to the post-match urine and blood samples taken after games to identify any performing enhancing drugs.
It is run by UK Anti-Doping, who check for cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD and ecstasy use, amongst others.
Most professional sports don't run testing for recreational drug use as it is not a requirement from WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.
UKAD conducted 1,923 drugs tests on Premier League players, 1,109 for players in the Championship, 638 in League One and 610 in League Two over the course of last season, as well as over 5,000 in total.
An FA spokesman told inews.co.uk:
“Under the WADA code, the FA is not obliged to test for social drugs out-of-competition.
“Experience shows that offenders here are typically players who are experiencing difficulties in their lives or young players who are only starting their careers."
The FA have also stated that whilst it does impose bans and suspensions for recreational drug use, it also aims to offer education, counselling and support for young players as well.
First offences are usually met with anything up to a three-month ban, which increases to a year and then two years for repeat offenders.
In 2016 Finnish footballer Roman Eremenko, then of CSKA Moscow, received a two-year ban from football after testing positive for cocaine after a Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen.