Russia’s 2014 World Cup Squad Face FIFA Doping investigation
Russian football is in the eye of a storm as the country’s entire 2014 World Cup squad is being investigated by Fifa following allegations of suspected doping.
This comes after Russia, host country for the 2018 World Cup was eliminated in the group stages of the ongoing Fifa Confederations Cup on Saturday.
Five of the players from the 2014 squad- Igor Akinfeev, Denis Glushakov, Maksim Kanunnikov, Aleksandr Samedov and Yuri Zhirkov- are in the current team.
According to a Fifa spokesman, the The 23 players on the Russia team that lost in the group stages in Brazil three years ago are among at least 34 Russian footballers in the list of over 1,000 athletes listed as “people of interest” in reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on state-sponsored interference in 30 sports.
“FIFA is still investigating the allegations made against [Russian] football players,” the Fifa spokesperson said.
It is understood that some Russian players have had their urine samples swapped out for clean batches regardless of whether they were involved in a doping programme as Fifa looks to reach a decision before next year’s Mundial.
“There is a huge onus on FIFA to reach a sensible conclusion on these matters before the World Cup takes place,” Former WADA chief Dick Pound told the Mail.
“It is incumbent on them to say what steps they are taking, what they find, and take whatever action necessary to protect the integrity of sport. Even within a governing body with as little credibility remaining as Fifa, if you were a senior official you wouldn’t want to be part of a body that ignores this.
“There has been an institutional denial of doping in football for years … I’ve seen too many presentations by FIFA, straight out of fantasy land, about how they don’t have a problem. They absolutely have to take this case seriously.”
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