ST. PETERSBURG, July 1. /TASS/. Facts of doping use in Russian football do not exist, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Russian Football Union Vitaly Mutko told a news conference on Saturday.
A week earlier, the Mail on Sunday (Daily Mail) wrote FIFA was investigating into 34 Russian football players suspected of doping use: "the entire Russian squad for Rio 2014" and "another 11 players."
On that day, June 24, FIFA’s press service said "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 post-match tests have been negative so far. Furthermore, all players participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup - including all members of the Russian squad - underwent pre-competition and post-match tests, all of which resulted negative. FIFA was in charge of the tests and sent all samples to be analysed by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne. The same procedure is currently being applied for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017."
"As for football, doping there is not popular, it’s a myth," the deputy prime minister said. "We are beginning the Russian championship soon, come and see how everything is done; the Russian sport is elite, it should be trusted."
"There are no facts (of doping use) in Russian football - we do not want false victories for the sake of any medal, we want to attract people to sports," he said. "Doping is a choice of every athlete, and we do not support of approve of it."
UK media attacks on Russian sports
In March, 2017, BBC aired a documentary about Russian fans who, as it claims, look forward to taking vengeance on English fans during the 2018 World Cup for the clashes that occurred at the European Cup in Marseille in June 2016.
Furthermore, the British tabloid Daily Mirror illustrated an article a week earlier brimming with allegations about threats to English fans from their Russian counterparts that may be in store at the 2018 World Football Cup finals with pictures taken during Shrovetide outdoor festivities in Moscow’s Izmailovo Park on February 25, 2017. The pictures showing phony fist fights were accompanied by captions describing the cruelty of Russia’s extremist football fans.
In 2010, the UK was Russia’s key competitor for the right to host the World Cup in 2018. The Russian bid won the competition then.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.