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Russian former sports minister doubts 2018 World Cup in Russia can be cancelled

December 14, 2016, 15:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The reputation of Russian sport suffered a significant blow in 2016, but will be able to endure it, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko says

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Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko

Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The reputation of Russian sport suffered a significant blow in 2016, but will be able to endure it, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

Mutko said he doubts that 2018 World Cup in Russia will be cancelled.

"I see no problems regarding the World Cup and I do not think that it will involve football," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said.

"Somebody may be pursuing such aim, but the World Cup has nothing to do with the McLaren report," Mutko said. "We are developing our infrastructure and building modern stadiums, hotels."

"On the whole, the World Cup will boost the development of 11 cities and will leave its heritage and we have no worries in this regard," Mutko added.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) announced on Tuesday night its decision to relocate the 2017 World Championship from the Russian resort city of Sochi to another venue, which would be determined by the end of the week. The decision was made in light of numerous allegations on doping abuse and manipulations in Russian sport.

"It was not easy in Rio de Janeiro, but the team performed brilliantly," Mutko, who oversees the issues regarding sports, tourism and youth policies in the country, said. "We have showed that the sport of high achievements in Russia is at the very high level."

"The year of 2016 was not easy and the reputation of the Russian sport suffered a significant blow," Mutko said. "I am sure that we all together can overcome this challenge and return to the sports family."

"We are able to establish a strong anti-doping system," he said. "I am sure we can manage it as well as our athletes. The strength of the Russian sport is in our athletes, coaches and people, who are creating all the conditions for them."

Beginning this year Russian athletes were constantly in the focus of numerous doping abuse accusations. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, conducted an investigation into doping allegations in Russian sports and eventually came up with two parts of the report, the first delivered in July and the second on December 9.

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