FIFA denies reports of doping among Russian football players

FIFA has rejected reports alleging doping cover-ups among the Russian national team.

The world governing body said it had not found any evidence of doping among Russia’s players as the country hosts the World Cup.

Reiterating a statement it made last month, FIFA said: “Insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation by any footballer.

“In the course of the investigations, FIFA looked at every possible evidence, leaving no stone unturned.”

It added that the investigations into all players named in Russia’s preliminary squad last month had been closed.

Rubin Kazan defender Ruslan Kambolov, who was previously investigated by FIFA over alleged doping violations in 2015, was named in Russia’s preliminary squad but later sustained an injury and was left out of the final selection.

FIFA launched investigations into possible anti-doping violations by Russian football players after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors across more than 30 sports were involved in an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests.

Russia has rejected allegations it has run a state-sponsored doping programme and elaborately covered up its athletes’ positive tests at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The country’s athletics federation, its anti-doping agency RUSADA and its Paralympic committee remain suspended over doping allegations.