TORONTO – Costa Rica’s football federation is upset after seven of its players were required to submit anti-doping tests after its victory over Italy.
Costa Rica sent a letter to FIFA demanding an explanation as to why so many tests were ordered following its 1-0 win against the Italians on Friday.
The president of Costa Rica’s selection committee, Adrian Gutierrez, said the tests could cast suspicions of cheating against Costa Rican players.
“We believe in, accept and trust doping controls that FIFA carries out, but we want an explanation as to why so many of the players were called in,” said Gutierrez.
Only two Italian players underwent tests compared to Costa Rica’s seven.
The tiny Central American country is already through to the next round after a stunning 3-1 win against Uruguay, and a win against Italy.
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona also criticized FIFA saying the governing body “showed a lack of respect for the players and the rules” after requesting the additional tests.
Normally two players from each team are required to submit samples following a match. FIFA has said the five additional players were tested because they couldn’t be tested prior to the World Cup.
“This is new. But this is happening because it hurts a lot of people to see Costa Rica get through and that world champions don’t get through, because then the sponsors don’t pay the cash they promised,” said Maradona.
He made the comments while speaking on the Argentine television show De Zurda.
Maradona won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 beating West Germany 3-2. It was also on this day June 22, 28 years ago, Maradona scored the infamous ‘hand of God’ goal, where he used his left fist to knock the ball in the net to help Argentina defeat England in the quaterfinals.
Maradona is familiar with anti-doping tests after he was sent home from the 1994 tournament after testing positive for the banned substance ephedrine. He also received a 15-month suspension in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine.
“Costa Rica had an incredible qualification, they had three world champions in the group and they beat them with good football,” Maradona said.
Costa Rica will look to remain perfect in Brazil on Tuesday when the team plays England who have already been eliminated from the World Cup.
-With a file from the Associated Press
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