A doping control officer (File)

FIFA Found No Evidence Russian Footballers Violated Doping Rules

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – FIFA said on Tuesday that it had completed an investigation into possible anti-doping rule violations by Russian football players, finding insufficient evidence to claim that any of those who may take part in the World Cup committed any violations.

“FIFA can today confirm that the investigations concerning all Russian players named for the provisional squad of the FIFA World Cup™ in Russia have been completed, with the result that insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation. FIFA has informed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of its conclusions, and WADA, in turn, has agreed with FIFA’s decision to close the cases,” the statement read.

According to the statement, FIFA re-analyzed samples of all players mentioned in the McLaren reports and other high-level footballers for prohibited substances, and all results were negative. The samples were also subjected to forensic analysis, which similarly showed negative results.

"Samples seized by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory were subjected to forensic analysis (for scratches/marks and abnormal salt levels). For this process, FIFA applied the methodology recommended by WADA and used by the International Olympic Committee. None of the samples analyzed showed marks that were typical of tampering and the urine did not show any suspect salt values," the statement noted.

Probes into several players unrelated to the World Cup are still ongoing, FIFA added.

Russian got in the middle of a doping scandal in 2016 after the publication of the report by head of a WADA independent commission Richard McLaren. The document was accusing Russian athletes of doping violations and alleged the existence of a state-supported doping program, basing on the information received from Grigory Rodchenkov, a former director of Russian national anti-doping laboratory. However, during court hearings on the issue in April this year, Rodchenkov has withdrawn his testimony.

Last November, Rodchenkov’s lawyer also alleged that dozens of Russian football players, including the members of the national team, were engaged in the alleged state doping program.

READ MORE: Kremlin: We Hope Rodchenkov Testimony to Help Change Decisions on Athletes

Responding to McLaren's report, FIFA began investigating possible anti-doping rule violations by football players, paying special attention to players who can participate in the World Cup in Russia. On Tuesday, FIFA announced the closure of doping cases of all players from the Russian national team at the homeworld championship.

READ MORE: Russia Will Never Agree With State-Sponsored Doping Allegations — Minister

doping scandal, doping, 2018 FIFA World Cup, World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA), FIFA
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