KEIR RADNEDGE in LONDON: Richard McLaren has thrown the fairplay issue directly into FIFA’s court over the staging of the 2018 World Cup fnals in Russia.
The Canadian law professor unveiled in London today his full and final report into an “unprecedented” doping and cover-up system.
He accused the Russian authorities of “hijacking” international sports competition and “deceiving” sports fans and spectators ever since 2011.
McLaren refused to comment on the role and responsibility of Vitaly Mutko who was Sports Minister during this time and was recently promoted to a position as Deputy Prime Minister.
Mutko is also a long-serving member of the governing board of world football federation FIFA and is president of the local organising committee of the 2018 World Cup.
As for whether FIFA should re-evaluate its staging in Russia of the Confederations Cup next year and the World Cup itself in 2018.
He said: “I don’t have an opinion. That’s up to other people. They should look at the report and draw their own opinions.”
A FIFA spokesman, asked about its response to the McLaren report, said: “FIFA will request from WADA all details and evidence concerning the individual cases of doping in Russian football that are referenced in Prof. McClaren’s investigation.
“Once FIFA receives this information from WADA, it will take the appropriate next steps.
“For the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, as for all FIFA competitions, FIFA will be in charge of the anti-doping programme, ensuring the highest standards including the latest science and recommendations by WADA.
“The analysis of the samples, as always, will be done in a WADA accredited laboratory, be it in the host country or abroad as was done on the occasion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where all samples were analysed in Switzerland.
“It is WADA’s duty to ensure that laboratories fulfil the required criteria of independence and quality to be accredited in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code. At the moment, the accreditation of the Moscow Laboratory has been suspended by WADA.”