Russia’s 2014 World Cup Faces FIFA Investigation Over Doping
Football’s governing body FIFA are set to investigate the entire Russian squad that played in 2014 World Cup over doping charges. It is believed that the entire 23-man squad that represented Russia at Rio are under the radar.
Russia has not been fat away from doping scandals across various sports as the European nation was found guilty on numerous occasions over drugs and doping. English newspaper Daily Mail reported that the players’ names are on the list of more than 1,000 “people of interest”.
A Fifa spokesman told the Mail On Sunday: “Fifa is still investigating the allegations made against [Russian] football players.”
Russia had failed to manage to reach the knock out stages in Rio as they have not registered a single win in the event finishing third in their group. They drew against South Korea and Algeria, lost against Belgium.
There are five players from the 2014 World Cup, that recently represented the country in the ongoing Confederations cup. There were once again finished third in the group next to Portugal and Mexico after managing a win against New Zealand.
Dick Pound, a former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), told the Mail On Sunday: “There is a huge onus on Fifa to reach a sensible conclusion on these matters before the World Cup takes place. 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.”
Russia are set to host the world cup next year and are currently preparing 12 venues to showcase the biggest footballing event next summer. However, there are still doubts over the participation of Russia as the doping looks to have comeback to haunt Russian football once again.
Russia was previously blamed by WADA for running a state-supported operation crosswise over games to help and protect drug cheats.
A large portion of Russia’s olympics track and field team was banned from the Olympic Games in Rio over the doping outrage and its whole Paralympics squad was completely excluded.
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