The recent political turmoil between Russia and Britain took another twist to its tail when the British media reported cases of doping cover-ups among Russian national team soccer players.
However, FIFA debunked those rumors on Sunday, saying they had not found any substantial evidence to back up those claims of doping among Russian footballers.
Citing a statement it made last month, FIFA said: “insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation by any footballer.”
It went further to confirm that investigations opened against players named in Russia’s preliminary squad last month had been closed.
Rubin Kazan defender Ruslan Kambolov, investigated by FIFA over alleged doping violations, was included in Russia’s preliminary squad last month but later sustained an injury and was left out of the final selection.
“In the course of the investigations FIFA looked at every possible evidence, leaving no stone unturned,” the global football governing body said.
Russian sports in recent times has been marred by doping scandals following a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that discovered more than 1,000 Russian competitors across 30 sporting events – including football – were involved in an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests.
The ban placed on the country’s athletics federation, its anti-doping agency RUSADA and its Paralympic committee prompted FIFA to launch an investigation in their football community.
The host nation sealed their place in the round of 16 after recording 6 points from two games and are on course to qualify as group winners. However, the final group game against two-time winners Uruguay will determine who tops the group.