FIFA Finds 'No Proof' of Doping Violations Among Russian Footballers
FIFA has not found violations of doping regulations by Russian footballers, although an investigation into the allegations is continuing.
A report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in July 2016 linked more than a thousand Russian athletes across 30 sports to the use of performance-enhancing drugs or concealing positive samples.
FIFA launched an investigation into 11 Russian footballers accused of doping last year after the WADA report, based on independent research by Dr. Robert MacLaren.
"FIFA has undertaken complex measures to detect possible violations of anti-doping rules, including repeat test of samples," the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing the FIFA press office.
Two female athletes mentioned in the WADA report were already sanctioned by Russian authorities, FIFA’s statement read.
“Regarding the rest, it has not been possible to provide any proof of violations of anti-doping regulations, but the investigation remains open."
"It should be noted that disqualification cannot be imposed on the basis of suspicions," FIFA concluded.
The Daily Mail reported Sunday that FIFA wanted to question Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov to obtain further evidence of how Russian footballers benefited from a government-run doping program.
Rodchenkov, a former lab director, fled to the United States last year after exposing what he said was state-sponsored doping.
WADA ruled earlier this month that Russia’s doping body was in breach of international standards, threatening Russia’s participation at the February Olympics in Korea.
The International Olympic Committee will announce Dec. 5 whether Russian athletes are banned from the games.