Fahey speaking at a WADA press conference in Johannesburg today (INSIDER/E.Hula III)

(WFI) Outgoing World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey told a WADA conference in Johannesburg today that Rio will not have an accredited lab for the World Cup, raising concerns about FIFA’s anti-doping operations at Brazil 2014.

Speaking at a press conference at WADA’s World Conference on Doping in Sport, the Australian, making his strongest comments on the issue, said there was no hope of Rio regaining the accreditation that was revoked in August. WADA chiefs had previously entertained the possibility of Rio’s lab being licenced again.

“Rio didn’t measure up there. We will work with them through our science team to get that back [lab accreditation],” Fahey said.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen in a hurry. Certainly not before the World Cup.

He said FIFA would make arrangements to ensure a watertight anti-doping program, emphasizing that the biggest issue was the transportation of samples.

“You can move samples these days with aircraft and regular flights and I am sure that as the event organizer, FIFA will come to that conclusion. It is their responsibility,” he explained.

“They are building a new laboratory [in Rio]. We will do our best to ensure it happens as soon as possible [getting accreditation back].”

Britain’s Craig Reedie, who will be confirmed as the new WADA president at the conference this week, had previously told INSIDER that FIFA would have to set up its own doping lab for the World Cup and labelled Brazil’s anti-doping efforts “sad”.

WADA revoked accreditation for the country’s only anti-doping laboratory in Rio in August due to repeated non-compliance with international standards. WADA also suspended the lab for nine months in 2012 for similar reasons, only reinstating accreditation when improvements were made.

Last month, Reedie urged FIFA to act quickly to find an “alternative” doping laboratory for next summer’s tournament. He said Brazil was “much delayed” in creating a national anti-doping agency. “They will need to get re-accredited at the earliest possible moment and I hope that process gets underway quickly because we certainly need a good and proper laboratory to do what the IOC needs to do at the Games in 2016,” he added.

Tickets Sell Out

More than 220,000 tickets for the World Cup that were made available on a first-come, first-served basis in the second sales phase sold out in just seven hours.

Tickets

for 57 matches were put on sale on FIFA.com yesterday and all allocated by 19:00 CET.

In addition to the nearly 890,000 tickets sold in the random draw period following the first sales window, it means that almost 1.1 million of the 6.2 million World Cup tickets are now allocated.

About 62% of those sold yesterday went to Brazilians and 38% to international fans, with the most purchases from people living in USA, Australia, England and Argentina.

About 55% of successful buyers requested for their tickets to be delivered by courier service whereas in Brazil this figure was 45%. The remaining ticket holders preferred the option of personally picking them up at one of the collection points in the 12 host cities.

“As expected, the level of interest was impressive, in fact four times greater than during the first sales window,” said FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil, who is responsible for ticketing.

“The high number of applicants lead to some waiting time but overall the system worked well. It was great to see that both internationals and Brazilians were aiming to grab the remaining tickets from the first batch of tickets made available. This clearly shows the huge appeal of attending the FIFA World Cup live in Brazil.”

FIFA said that due to the huge demand – with 3.6 million page views – ticket applicants had to wait an average of 45 minutes in the waiting room until they could access the ticket selling page.

More tickets go on sale on Dec. 8, two days after the World Cup draw in Salvador which will decide the eight groups of four teams for the opening phase of the competition and where they will play. This sales phase will include the 8% which are reserved exclusively for the fans of each one of the participating teams for each of their matches – in total 16 % of the stadium capacity is reserved per match for the fans of the two teams playing.

Delivery Charges for Tickets

FIFA has commissioned an international courier service to handle the distribution of tickets for those not wanting to collect them in the host cities.

BRL 59 (approx $25 will be charged per delivery within Brazil and $41 for any international shipment. The delivery fee covers the cost of shipment as well as any other administration costs associated with the service, plus all applicable taxes, and includes up to three attempts to deliver the tickets.

Successful ticket buyers have until Jan. 30 to choose their preferred collection process within their respective ticket account on FIFA.com. FIFA said that due to the huge operational complexity of the ticket printing and shipment, the courier service is not available for any tickets purchased at a later date.

By INSIDER’s Ed Hula III in Johannesburg and Mark Bisson

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