March 20 – Russia’s World Cup chief organiser Vitaly Mutko, recently barred from holding on to his place at FIFA’s top table, has brushed aside allegations that Russian footballers were among those guilty caught up in the country’s widespread doping scandal.
The now infamous McLaren report into state-sponsored Russian doping said the alleged cover-up included footballers. The players mentioned included Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow FC), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow FC), Yury Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg FC) and Igor Denisov (Lokomotiv Moscow FC).
But Mutko, recently barred from retaining his FIFA Council seat because of a conflict of interest between his role as deputy prime minister and head of the Russian FA – a huge blow to his reputation – says the allegations have already been dismissed by FIFA.
“Our footballers’ names mentioned in the McLaren list? I believe that (FIFA general secretary Fatma) Samoura gave more than a thorough reply to this question when she was in St. Petersburg,” Mutko told Tass without actually adding his own comments.
Samoura stated during her recent visit to celebrate the100-day countdown to the Confederations Cup that there was no tangible evidence regarding possible violations of doping regulations on behalf of Russian players.
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