Russia 2018 World Cup player was on list of 34 footballers suspected of doping, says whistleblower

Whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov says he recognises a Russia World Cup squad member from a list of 34 footballers suspected of doping.

Rodchenkov’s 2016 claims of widespread doping led to the suspensions of Russian athletes from global sport, including a ban from competing under the Russian flag at this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

His revelations about Russian athletes were confirmed by the McLaren Report and he now lives in hiding in the United States where he is part of a witness protection programme.

Following the publication of the second part of the report, the World Anti-Doping Agency informed FIFA 34 samples from footballers required more detailed examination for what football chiefs said were “possible anti-doping rule violations”.

Rodchenkov was asked about the list as he addressed the Sports, Politics and Integrity conference in London by Skype, wearing a balaclava and a large pair of dark-framed spectacles to conceal his identity.

“There were 34 names,” said through a slightly distorted video link.

“These were names of different players at different levels of skill and maybe they were some in the national team.

“I looked through the names of the players enrolled in the FIFA Russia World Cup and I recognise only one name who there was a problem with.

“I am talking about the 23 [man] list of the national team and I recognise one name out of the 34 which were submitted by McLaren and also by FIFA.”