Rus­sia rub­bish “non­sense” re­port their en­tire squad at the 2014 World Cup is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for dop­ing

Tehran Times - - SPORT -

They have come out fight­ing - again - but Rus­sian foot­ball chiefs are bat­tling to deal with an­other blow to their suit­abil­ity to host next sum­mer’s World Cup.

Less than a year be­fore the tour­na­ment kicks off there, claims have emerged that their en­tire squad for the 2014 com­pe­ti­tion were in­volved in state-spon­sored dop­ing.

All 23 play­ers on the Rus­sia team that crashed out at the group stage three years ago in Brazil are re­port­edly be­ing looked at as part of a broader scan­dal.

Rus­sian deputy Prime Min­is­ter Vi­taly Mutko - the man who claimed the coun­try has al­ready cleaned up racism and hooli­gan­ism - has gone on a sim­i­lar of­fen­sive over the dop­ing claims.

“There have never been and will never be any prob­lems with dop­ing in our foot­ball,” he said. “Our team are per­ma­nently be­ing tested, they un­dergo dop­ing tests after ev­ery match.

“They have writ­ten some sort of non­sense. Don’t bother read­ing the English news­pa­pers in the morn­ing.”

FIFA, how­ever, are car­ry­ing on with their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the McLaren re­port which claims at least 30 sports, in­clud­ing foot­ball, cov­ered up sam­ples in­volv­ing more than 1,000 ath­letes be­tween 2011 and 2015.

So far, the or­gan­i­sa­tion in­sist, no­body from the World Cup has re­turned a pos­i­tive test,

But, a spokesman said: “FIFA has sim­ply con­firmed that, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wada [World Anti-Dop­ing Agency], it is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing foot­ball play­ers in the so-called McLaren re­port.

“How­ever, FIFA did not re­fer to any par­tic­u­lar play­ers, since it can­not com­ment on the sta­tus of on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

The FA were stay­ing tight-lipped about the mat­ter on Sun­day night as they wait for the out­come of FIFA’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

For the Rus­sians, how­ever, the lat­est con­tro­versy fol­lows sev­eral oth­ers for the coun­try within sport.

Most of their track-and-field team was banned from last year’s Olympics in Rio over dop­ing. Their en­tire Par­a­lympics squad was also ex­cluded. The spec­tre of dop­ing also lin­gered over their 2014 Win­ter Olympics in Sochi.

Claims of bribery per­sist.

In ad­di­tion, few are con­vinced that the Rus­sians have the hooli­gan­ism is­sue, which threat­ens to flare up next sum­mer, un­der con­trol.

Five of the play­ers from the 2014 squad are in the team that have been competing at this week’sCon­fed­er­a­tions Cup there. Rus­sia were elim­i­nated on Satur­day, after los­ing to Mex­ico.

FIFA added: “As far as the FIFA Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup is con­cerned, ev­ery par­tic­i­pat­ing player has been tested through blood and urine in unan­nounced con­trols.

“Both the re­sults of the unan­nounced and the post­match tests have been neg­a­tive so far.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.