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FIFA: No proof of anti-doping violations in Russian football

November 20, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The world’s governing football body, FIFA, carries on with the investigation based on allegations from the so-called McLaren Report

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© KEYSTONE/Steffen Schmidt

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body, FIFA, has not found yet any alleged violations of anti-doping rules by Russian footballers, but carries on with the investigation based on allegations from the so-called McLaren Report, a spokesperson for FIFA told TASS on Monday.

British weekly The Mail on Sunday announced earlier that FIFA had been allegedly trying to reach Grigory Rodchenkov, a former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, on the issue of possible doping abuse among Russian football players.

"FIFA has undertaken comprehensive actions to identify potential anti-doping rule violations, including retesting of available samples," the FIFA spokesperson told TASS. "Of all the players mentioned in the McLaren reports, two U-20 female players had already been sanctioned by the Russian authorities."

"For all the others it has so far not been possible to demonstrate any anti-doping rule violation, but investigations remain open," according to FIFA. Should there be enough evidence to demonstrate an anti-doping rule violation by any athlete, FIFA would impose the appropriate sanction in line with its clear zero tolerance policy with regards to doping in football."

"It should be stressed that sanctions cannot be imposed based on mere suspicions or limited facts," the FIFA spokesperson stated.

Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, who headed an Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency, announced in June that Russia had a system to cover up acts of doping abuse in football. According to McLaren, a special bank with clean doping samples was allegedly in place and was used for samples’ substitution.

British weekly The Mail on Sunday came up with a report at that time that FIFA was holding investigations in regard to 34 Russian footballers, including 23 from the country’s national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

In response to all allegations, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that all doping samples of Russian footballers, collected at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, tested negative for banned performance enhancing drugs.

The FIFA spokesperson also told TASS on Monday that all doping samples collected at the world championship four years ago in Brazil were negative.

"For the FIFA Confederations Cup played in Russia, every participating player was tested through blood and urine in unannounced controls and further systematic tests were performed at every match," the spokesperson said. "The same procedure applied to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where all participating players - including all members of the Russian squad - underwent pre-competition and post-match tests, all of which resulted negative."

"A similar protocol will be in place for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, with all analysis of doping samples done at WADA laboratories outside Russia," the FIFA spokesperson added.

After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia.

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