North Korean women fail doping tests

BERLIN - Two North Korean players have been provisionally suspended after failing doping tests at the Women's World Cup, football's world governing body FIFA said on Thursday.

FIFA named the players as Jong Sun Song (pictured) and Sim Pok Jong and said the ban took effect before Wednesday's match against Colombia.

FIFA said it had received the results of the tests, taken after the team's previous games, on Wednesday morning.

FIFA added that under anti-doping regulations, the whole North Korea team was subjected to a doping test after Wednesday's game which ended 0-0.

"The target testing of the entire North Korea team was coordinated with (world anti-doping agency) WADA," football's governing body said in a statement.

On Tuesday, FIFA announced that Colombia goalkeeper Yineth Varon had been suspended after failing an out-of-competition doping test conducted in Leverkusen on June 25.

Colombia and North Korea failed to score a goal between them as they went out in the first round.

FIFA said neither North Korea nor the players had requested analysis of the 'B' samples from their tests, although this would be conducted in any case.

"FIFA would like to emphasise once again its determination to keep football free of doping," it said.

"It is FIFA's duty and will to protect players from harm and ensure that footballers can compete on an even playing field.

"FIFA's anti-doping strategy relies on education and prevention, as well as on respect for the dignity and privacy of each player who is subject to testing."

The statement added: "FIFA bases any decisions related to its anti-doping programme on the specifics of the game, scientific evidence and analysis of validated doping statistics.

"FIFA's determination to fight doping is demonstrated by stringent doping control regulations, ongoing data collection and the support of evidence-based research."

Germany, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Brazil, the United States, England and France have qualified for the Women's World Cup quarter-finals.