It might be the beautiful game, but there are grumblings aplenty coming from the corridors of the International Olympic Committee that the people who run football can show an ugly side. Sepp Blatter and his Fifa officials often display 'utter arrogance' towards the Olympic family, one IOC member ranted recently in a Beijing hotel bar. The two organisations have issues - the latest being over doping and football's lenient attitude to it. The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has a uniform code for all 35 Olympic sports to combat the use of performance enhancing drugs. Thirty-four of the sports are in line with the code, but Fifa somehow views itself as the honourable exception. After much public bickering, the long simmering dispute was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and this week they published a non-binding opinion which confirmed that Fifa's anti-doping regulations did not correspond fully to Wada's code. The key issue is the appropriate penalty for a doping violation. Wada's code calls for a two-year ban, while under Fifa's system players caught taking performance enhancing drugs can get away with a six or 12-month ineligibility period. CAS said it agreed with Wada and most of the sporting world that two years was a 'necessary credible deterrent' against doping. Indeed, many top athletes are calling for a four-year ban these days, fearing the battle against doping is being lost and many drug cheats are willing to risk being forced out of competition for short spells. Despite having asked the court to issue the opinion, Blatter didn't like what they had to say. He turned his nose up at the non-binding assessment and said his organisation was not legally obliged to listen. And although the ruling was clearly critical of Fifa, he somewhat bizarrely issued a statement declaring victory. Wada's Dick Pound, summed it up by saying: 'It sounds to me like a Vietnam victory. They are declaring success and pulling out.' Blatter is right that he is not legally obliged to adopt the code, but if he wants football to stay on the Olympic programme he will ultimately have to keep the IOC happy, and part of that exercise involves taking a tough stance on doping. The sporting programme for the Beijing Games has already been settled, but come 2009 the IOC will review each sport and decide which ones deserve a slot at London 2012. If football doesn't step into line on the doping issue by then, it will run a real risk of getting the boot. And doping is not the only issue that rankles Lausanne. Fifa's rules for the Olympics state that men's teams must be made up of players under 23 years of age, with three over 23s allowed per team. The result is a diluted tournament that fails to capture the imagination. While any football supporter can tell you who won the last two or three World Cups, not many will be able to rattle off the fact that Argentina, Cameroon and Nigeria were the last three Olympic men's football gold medal winners. Publicly Fifa will say the ruling helps nurture young talent, but off the record their officials admit the reason it is in place is to ensure the Olympics football event is an inferior competition to the World Cup. It likes things the way they are - one major international football competition every four years, to which it holds the full rights. Other federations snarl at the special treatment Fifa is given. Baseball was struck off the Olympic programme recently for similar sins. Aside from not being played in many parts of the world, the IOC said time and again that two key points that went against it were its lax approach to doping and the fact that the best proponents of the game were not taking part in the Olympics. But similarly for football, there's the doping issue and the best talent is not on show. There will be very little overlap on the elite cast of characters who strut their stuff at the World Cup in Germany in June and the young charges who participate in Beijing in two years' time. That detail is not lost on the fans - in Athens for instance only 49 per cent of the football tickets on offer were taken up. What would happen the Olympic movement if other sports followed suit and placed age or talent restrictions on who could enter the games? Basketball could say only players under six foot can play, for instance, and the athletics federation might insist that only sprinters who ran 100 metres in 12 seconds or more could enter. If you want to see the best in action, forget about the Olympics and come and see their exclusive event. An attitude of that ilk wouldn't exactly be embracing the Olympic spirit, and, needless to say, the IOC wouldn't let them away with it. Fifa, however, is a wealthy, powerful and highly influential organisation. Exceptions prove that, truth be told, for some there is no rule.