FIFA Turns to Rodchenkov for Russia Investigation

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(WFI) FIFA is reportedly increasing its investigation into possible doping cases within the Russian national football team.

According to the Daily Mail, football’s world governing body is probing the squad’s alleged part in the Russian national doping conspiracy. The paper reports that FIFA is now seeking the cooperation of Russian whistle-blower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory who oversaw Russia’s doping and is now in a witness protection program in the United States.

Jim Walden, Rodchenkov’s lawyer, has confirmed that his client is helping FIFA gather evidence against Russian football players. Dr. Rodchenkov is said to have admitted that Russia’s national football teams and their 2014 World Cup squad were part of a doping system designed to fool testers.

FIFA has come under pressure to ensure there is a full inquiry into the claims of Russian doping. Recently, Vitaly Mutko had to resign as the 2018 World Cup chairman after being heavily implicated in the Russian doping conspiracy . FIFA, however, has yet to appoint an independent investigator to follow possible traces of doping within the Russian national team.

Richard McLaren, the independent investigator of the Russian doping conspiracy appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), identified 34 suspect Russian football samples in his initial probe.

The doping scandal in Russia broke when it was discovered that its state security service, the FSB, had developed a way of opening urine-sample bottles to replace doped urine with clean urine.

Although subsequent investigations detected the cheating scheme, it has now been thrown into question after a recent ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport suggesting it was not effective enough to secure doping convictions against 28 Russian Winter Olympic athletes.

The International Olympic Committee is now considering an appeal of that decision.

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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