RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A decision to make seven Costa Rica players undergo doping tests instead of the usual two following their World Cup match against Italy was standard procedure, soccer’s governing body FIFA said on Sunday.
Costa Rica were angry about the incident after the 1-0 Group D win in Recife on Friday, saying it could cause suspicion.
However, a FIFA spokeswoman said that two of the players were called for the post-match anti-doping tests as usual while the remaining five needed to be tested for their so-called biological passports.
More than 90 percent of the players at the World Cup were tested for the biological passports before the tournament, while the remainder, including the five Costa Ricans, have to be tested during the competition, the spokeswoman said.
“This was standard procedure, there was nothing suspicious,” she told a FIFA media briefing.
Costa Rica’s federation criticised the way the tests were conducted in a statement on their website (www.fedefutbolcr.com).
“We believe, accept and trust the doping controls which are carried out by FIFA, but want an explanation as to why so many players were called,” said Adrian Gutierrez, president of the federation’s national teams committee.
“What is surprising is that seven players were taken to the anti-doping test at the same time, which leads to the suspicion that Costa Rica’s players are involving in doping.”
Costa Rica, who also beat Uruguay in their opening game, have qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time.
Reporting By William Schomberg and Brian Homewood; Editing by Justin Palmer