FIFA looking into Russia football doping claims

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FIFA says “it is still investigating allegations” that footballers were involved in a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia.

At least 30 sports, including football, covered up samples involving more than 1,000 athletes between 2011 and 2015, according to the McLaren report.

The Mail on Sunday has said FIFA was investigating if Russia’s 2014 World Cup squad were part of the programme.

However FIFA says no players from the competition returned a positive test.

“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,” said a spokesman from world football’s governing body.

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

The second of two McLaren reports, led by Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Dr Richard McLaren, was published in December 2016.

It alleged that Russian authorities helped those athletes taking banned drugs to avoid being caught by swapping samples.

But FIFA said that samples taken from players at the 2014 World Cup, including the full Russian squad, were sent to a Wada-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It added that the same procedure was being applied for this year’s Confederations Cup, which is being held in Russia as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup.

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

“Both the results of the unannounced and the post-match tests have been negative so far.”

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