Skip to main content

Report: Documentary Claims Russia Covered Up Positive Drug Tests by Soccer Players

The documentary "Russia's football friends" revealed some scandalous details about Russian soccer.

Russia ignored positive doping tests in Russian soccer, former Moscow Laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov said in a German TV documentary called "Russia's football friends."

Russia is set to host the FIFA World Cup next month, but journalist Hajo Seppelt, who first revealed this widespread doping in Russian athletics, claims the Moscow Laboratory covered up samples in 2014. Seppelt was recently in the news after Russia denied him entry into the country ahead of the World Cup

Rodchenkov said the former Minister of Sport and President of the Russian Football Association, Vitaly Mutko, gave the orders.

"I received order from Mutko that we don't need positives in football," Rodchenkov told German public broadcasters ARD. "He was my boss and I followed his order."

Rodchenkov has long been a whistleblower on Russian athletics, making the allegations to the New York Times about Russian doping as early as 2014. Seppelt and ARD have been working with whistleblowers in recent years to detail the lengths that countries like Russia would go for athletes in sports like track and field to win at global championships. In one of the early films, Russian federation officials encouraged athletes to cheat and some anti-doping officials were paid off to cover up positive tests by Russian stars.

He claims that 155 samples of footballers in Russia were confiscated by WADA in December 2014, including some belonging to national team players.

FIFA are reportedly investigating the samples.