The Russian Doping Scandal Might Interfere With the 2018 World Cup

The Russian Doping Scandal Might Interfere With the 2018 World Cup

According to recent reports, there are now growing fears that fallout from the Russian doping scandal might still impact the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA have apparently been trying to arrange talks with Grigory Rodchenkov, a former director of a Moscow anti-doping laboratory that was instrumental in revealing the extent of the Russian doping scandal. The whistleblower has been in witness protection since July, when fears of reprisal were sparked following the sudden death of another former anti-doping official.

In 2015, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was suspended from operations following the revelations that they were:

  • Disappearing positive test results
  • Protecting doped Russian athletes
  • Creating a “state-directed failsafe system”

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has since lifted this suspension, but many athletes are still concerned. If FIFA chooses to purse further investigations, it could be quite messy for Russian officials. According to The Daily Mail:

“FIFA’s move is sure to irritate Russian president Vladimir Putin, who does not expect the governing body to take any action against his country… If FIFA access extra testimony, Russia could potentially have their home World Cup preparations torn apart via sanctions in the build-up although there is no chance the tournament will be taken away.

…the truest test of FIFA’s willingness to stand up to Russia will be their willingness to take action before the World Cup starts. Their track record does not inspire confidence judging by the case of former Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, named in McLaren’s reports as having personal oversight of the doping scheme… [Mutko] led Russia’s bid to stage the World Cup and is now deputy prime minister.”



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