ZURICH: Russian club Rostov had their entire team subjected to a random doping test following their match against Dinamo Moscow on Thursday, FIFA said.
FIFA, confirming a report by Russia’s Tass news agency, said the test was routine and there were no complaints from players or officials.
Rostov, second in the league and two points behind CSKA Moscow, won the match 3-1.
“We have to be unpredictable, they have to know that we can turn up anywhere at any time,” FIFA’s chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak told Reuters by telephone.
“I have to stress that the team was very co-operative, there was no resistance or complaints whatsoever; they understood what we were doing and that is very important.”
FIFA later said in a statement, “the initiative was based on previous media reports regarding potential use of Meldonium.”
An independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission last November revealed widespread state-sponsored doping in Russia, which led to a ban on the country competing in international athletics competitions.
Unless that ban is lifted, Russian athletics competitors will miss the Rio Olympics in Brazil, set to run Aug. 5-21.
At least 16 Russian sportsmen and women, including world tennis player Maria Sharapova and speed skating Olympic gold-medallist Semion Elistratov, have been caught using meldonium since it was banned by WADA on Jan. 1.
Meldonium, manufactured for people suffering from heart problems, helps boost blood flow and increases the amount of oxygen taken in by the body, allowing athletes to recover faster while training.