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Players facing anti-doping tests at Euro2008

Players at Euro 2008 will face anti-doping blood tests for the first time at a UEFA event as part of the organisation's stricter measures.

Representatives from the 16 national associations playing in this summer's tournament signed the UEFA anti-doping charter at a two-day workshop in Vienna on Wednesday, which sanctions 300 unannounced blood and urine tests before and during the championships.

"With this treaty we want to show that we are fighting doping and supporting the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) cause," UEFA president Michael Platini said at a news conference.

Marc Vouillamoz, head of UEFA's anti-doping unit, outlined the scheme.

"At the pre-event testing, we will take blood and urine samples of 10 players per team," he said. "We will also take two players per side after the final whistle of each of the 31 matches and test them."

Vouillamoz said the punishment would fit the result, but individuals and not teams would bear the responsibility.

"Only when two or more players of the same team would test positive, that team could possibly face charges," Vouillamoz said.

"But it also depends on the kind of violation. Is it cannabis or is it EPO?"

Platini does not believe doping was systematic.

"I don't think there is any form of organised doping in soccer," the 52-year-old said.

"Some players make mistakes, but there is no structure of clubs or doctors behind them who help dope.

"However, we cannot be silent about the subject. Not talking about it does not mean it doesn't happen."

The measures were announced at a press conference which also unveiled the 'respect' campaign which will feature heavily in this year's tournament.

Teams will be asked to respect each other, national anthems and referees, and anti-discrimination events are planned throughout the tournament, including exhibition matches between international disabled sports groups before the quarter-final matches.

Anti-racism measures, charitable pledges to social projects and a goal-based donation scheme to the Red Cross were also announced.

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