KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Russia’s football union has reported that doping tests of all players in the national championships between 2012 and 2015 were clean.
The claim comes amid renewed focus on how an institutionalised doping programme impacted on Russian football, as claimed by Grigory Rodchenkov, the self-exiled former Moscow laboratory director.
Rodchenkov, with Olympics scandal issues resolved – for better or worse – turned his revelatory attention to Russian football ahead of this year’s World Cup in an interview with the AP news agency.
Last November the World Anti-Doping Agency stated that it had obtained access to an electronic data file from the Moscow laboratory containing information on all tests between January 2012 and August 2015.
Subsequently WADA shared this information with world football governing body FIFA, the International Olympic Committee and major anti-doping organisations.
FIFA subsequently asked for further information about 19 samples as part of its own investigation into Russian doping which should now gather pace with the Winter Olympics now out of the way.
Acording to the RFU the compromised Russian Anti-Doping Agency told it that “all samples taken from 2012 to 2015, are included in the system and do not contain prohibited substances, as FIFA has been informed.”
FIFA has claimed that samples of 154 players were seized by WADA in 2014 from the Moscow laboratory during the course of the investigation undertaken by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.
The WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne had analysed all suspicious samples without detecting anything untoward.
However FIFA has also requested a forensic examination for any evidence of illiciit opening of sample bottles.
FIFA has cautioned that any evidence of doping must be weighed against a recent judgment of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This reversed Olympics bans on a host of Russian winter sport competitors on the grounds that such punishment needed evidential proof rather than hearsay.