FIFA and WADA Appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport Regarding Anti-Doping Policy

LONDON (Reuters) - World soccer's ruling body and the organisation in charge of the global fight against doping (WADA) have requested advice from the Court of Arbitration for Sport about FIFA's controversial anti-doping regulations.

FIFA has yet to fully sign up to the WADA code the main sticking point being its unwillingness to agree that a first offence by a player should automatically attract a two-year ban.

CAS said the opinion of the court should be available before the Winter Olympic Games start in Turin on February 10.

'The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered two requests for advisory opinion filed separately by the international football federation (FIFA) and by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)' the Lausanne-based court said in a statement on Tuesday.

'The questions submitted to CAS are essentially related to the conformity of the FIFA rules with the World Anti-Doping Code regarding in particular the minimum sanctions in doping.'

The court is the final arbiter in sporting cases. WADA chairman Dick Pound has said that any international federation who does not agree to the WADA code risked being thrown out of the Olympic Games.

FIFA insists every doping case should be dealt with on its individual merits and blanket bans are unreliable under Swiss law.

Earlier this month Middlesbrough's Portuguese defender Abel Xavier was banned by European officials for 18 months after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid.