FIFA: No sign football linked to Russian doping
ZURICH (AP) FIFA has ''no indications'' that football is implicated in alleged widespread doping and corruption in Russian sports.
German broadcaster ARD and French sports daily L'Equipe reported there was extensive doping, cover-ups and extortion in various sports in the 2018 World Cup host nation, some of it linked to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow and Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
An IAAF ethics panel is investigating the claims.
''FIFA monitors carefully the reports concerning doping in Russia and is in close contact with (the World Anti-Doping Agency),'' FIFA said Friday. ''Up to now, there are no indications that football would be involved.''
FIFA intends to use the Moscow lab to test samples from players at the World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup warm-up tournament.
FIFA noted that it would take charge of anti-doping programs at its tournaments, and not Russian authorities.
Russian national team players were tested by FIFA before and during this year's World Cup in Brazil. No positive tests were given.
In the 2009-10 season, three Russian players from current champion CSKA Moscow were suspended by UEFA for doping violations.
Defenders Sergei Ignashevich - who played in all three Russia games in Brazil - and Alexei Berezutsky served one-match bans for using stimulants in a cold remedy without permission. They tested positive after a Champions League match at Manchester United.
Two months later, youth international goalkeeper Artur Nigmatullin tested positive for a banned diuretic at a training camp in Spain. UEFA banned him for one year.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said football does not have a doping problem.
''When somebody tries to cheat, maybe it works in other sports (but) it will not work with us,'' Infantino said Thursday when asked about the Russian scandal.
UEFA tests players from clubs and national teams involved in its competitions.
Neither FIFA nor UEFA has responsibility for testing players at Russian league clubs.