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FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that his organisation is considering imposing lifetime bans on any player caught taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Last month Blatter criticised the English FA for their handling of the Rio Ferdinand saga, suggesting that the player should have been suspended until the outcome of his hearing.

“Surely, if we condemn a player who has either refused or miraculously forgotten to take a drug test, it is not FIFA that is at fault, but those directly responsible for this inexcusable omission and its aftermath,” said Blatter.

“That is the individual himself, his club and the FA, which has not swiftly enforced the laws on the suspension of players that ought to be applied,” he wrote in the Financial Times.

“If FIFA sees this sort of thing happening, it is its duty to intervene. It is the only way to make sure that the law is the same for everyone, rich and poor. FIFA cannot accept different strokes for different folks.

“If this type of behaviour persists we may well consider promulgating a law to impose a lifetime ban on any player caught taking performance-enhancing drugs and relegation on his club. If clubs can’t control their players, who can?”

Ferdinand failed to take a scheduled drugs test on September 23 and has been playing for his club, but not selected for his country, since then.

He has been charged by the FA with “failure or refusal” to take a drugs test, and will go before an FA disciplinary hearing on December 18-19.

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