(WFI) FIFA has concluded that all Russian players selected to compete in the 2018 World Cup have tested negative for possible anti-doping violations.

Putin can rest easy as Russia’s World Cup squad has tested negative (Wikipedia)

The world’s football’s body asserts in a press release that it reached that conclusion after testing and prioritizing high-level players against whom a suspicion had been raised.

FIFA also says that it has informed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of its finding, and WADA in turn has agreed with FIFA’s decision to close the cases.

The investigations were based on the McLaren report with the support of legal and scientific experts. That report indicated systematic state-sponsored subversion of the drug testing processes by Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Samples taken by FIFA and the football confederations that had been allegedly stored at WADA-accredited laboratories of all players mentioned in the McLaren reports were re-analyzed for prohibited substances. All results, according to the entity, were negative.

FIFA claims those new tests followed forensic procedures on samples seized in the past by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory.

For this process, FIFA claims to have applied the methodology recommended by WADA and also used by the International Olympic Committee. None of the samples analyzed, it says, showed marks of any sort of tampering.
FIFA also says that during its investigations it opened a line of communication with Dr Grigory Rodchenkov. He is the same physician who alerted the world about Russia’s systematic doping program before and during the Sochi Winter Games in 2014. The information provided to FIFA by Rodchenko was apparently assessed with the support of scientific and legal experts.

FIFA claims to have performed several unannounced targeted doping controls in the process of the investigations and the Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the FIFA World Cup.

The football’s body also clarifies that its rules prevent it from providing any names of individuals involved in the investigations.

Several players who are not a part of the upcoming Russia World Cup are still undergoing anti-doping probes.

Homepage photo: FIFA

Written by Javier Monne

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