West Ham have been charged by the Football Association for a breach of their anti-doping rules.
The charge relates to section 14 (d) of the FA’s regulations. The rule states:
“It shall also be a breach of this Regulation 14 by the Club if the information contained in such reports is either initially inaccurate or has not been updated by the Club as necessary to ensure it remains accurate, three times within any 12 month period.”
It’s important to note that, according to the FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations, the breach “does not constitute an Anti-Doping violation”, but instead falls under the lesser category of misconduct. It does not involve players having missed tests.
As a result, West Ham face a potential penalty under Section 8.1 of the FA’s Disciplinary Regulations. The exact details of the misconduct have not yet been made clear, but the club is likely to face either a fine or a slap on the wrist.
West Ham have already tried to play down the serious of the charge and have already released a statement in their defence. The statement read: “We would like to make it clear that the breach is a club administrative matter and does not concern any of our players.
“The breach relates to administrative oversights on the FA’s whereabouts system, for example a player’s address had been registered and the house number digits transposed, and the club will be responding to the FA in due course.”
It may be merely an administrative error and nothing more sinister. Yet this is no excuse and it should be a fairly routine matter for clubs. West Ham know the rules and will have had a long period of notice to update their records and get their paperwork in order. This should not happen and any matter relating to anti-doping compliance should be taken seriously.
Perhaps worst of all, it comes at a time when West Ham are already making life incredibly difficult for themselves. Already in 2018, we have had the terrible transfer window which where fans were incensed over the lack of activity when, yet again, targets were identified and not delivered. We’ve had Leicester refusing to do business with us because our Vice-Chair Lady Brady bad-mouthed them in her oh-so popular column in The Sun. Then we had the Tony Henry incident. The relationship between board and fans has reached such a disconnect that a protest march is being planned for our next home game which reportedly has the support of thousands. Thought it couldn’t get worse? Think again. I do feel sorry for the PR department.