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   June 17, 2002 | 1130 IST


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FIFA declares W'Cup drug-free so far

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The World Cup has been drug-free so far with no positive findings among the 204 players tested, world governing body FIFA said on Monday.

The tests involving blood and urine covered all 52 matches played until the end of competition on Sunday, said the tournament's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak.

He said six players had been tested twice. There had only been one "suspicious" case that required further testing before the player was cleared completely.

"I am proud to say there have been no positive tests after 52 matches," Dvorak told a news conference.

At the World Cup, medical testers have been especially on the lookout for use of the blood-boosting drug EPO (erythropoietin), which enhances stamina.

Dvorak said coaching staff could claim a lot of credit for the drug-free finals due to the careful attention they had paid to players' diets to ensure there were no banned substances in their food.

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