World Cup 2018 hosts, Russia, may have been under investigation by FIFA for drug related issues. The Russians are currently hosting the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup as dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
Sports Village Square gathered from Score Media which quoted BBC that FIFA had admitted that “it is still investigating the allegations” that several footballers were involved in a Russian state-sponsored doping scheme.
According to the report, 1,000 athletes from no fewer than 30 sports have allegedly had samples covered up between 2011 and 2015.
“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,” a FIFA spokesman was quoted as saying.
“However, FIFA did not refer to any particular players, since it cannot comment on the status of ongoing investigations.”
A report has it that Russia’s entire 23-man squad at the 2014 World Cup was tested for possible drug offences, and were among 34 Russian footballers investigated by FIFA, five of whom featured in the squad at the Confederations Cup.
So far, none of the players tested positive. The allegations came from the publication of the McLaren reports, the second of which was released in December 2016 by Canadian sports lawyer Dr. Richard McLaren.
Russia has always denied allegations of a state-sponsored doping programme. According to the report, Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko said: “There have never been and will never be any problems with doping in our football – our team are permanently being tested, they undergo doping tests after every match.”