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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Wenger calls on UEFA to alter doping rules

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has called on UEFA to change its rules on drug cheats, saying the current regulations "basically accept doping".

Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi was handed a four-year ban for failing a drugs test after the Croatian side beat Arsenal in the Champions League in September.

Zoran Mamic's team won 2-1 in Zagreb and now Arsenal face them again at the Emirates Stadium knowing they must secure victory to stand any chance of getting out of their group.

Wenger has been outspoken against doping and questioned why UEFA rules mean there is no way of disqualifying a team from continental competition unless more than two players fail a test.

The rule corresponds to the World Anti-Doping Agency's regulations but, asked if he found it strange, Wenger said: "Yes, of course. It's a surprising rule.

"UEFA applies the rule that is planned but I personally don't agree with the rule. You cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands.

"That means you basically accept doping. But it is the rule and we accept that. We have to look at ourselves and deal with our own performance."

The Frenchman believes the rules need to be altered but admitted he did not know how much public backing he would receive after seeing UEFA's doping team visit Arsenal's training ground shortly after his recent comments.

"I don't know if I would have the support of anybody but I came out on that and as a result we had a doping control from UEFA on Friday," he added. "We had 10 people on Friday to control us.

"I do not want to speculate too much on the career of a player. In between (the match in September and now) he has been punished."

The 2-1 loss in Croatia was the first of three damaging defeats in Arsenal's first four Group F matches which have left their European hopes hanging by a thread.

Even victory tonight may not be enough if Bayern Munich fail to beat Olympiacos in Germany.

Arsenal were thrashed 5-1 when they visited Munich a fortnight ago and they have now only won one in five.

Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb (live tv3/bt sport europe 7.45)

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