Russia planned to dope their own team at 2018 World Cup as FIFA head into tournament trying to investigate and potentially discipline host nation
- Russia planned to swap urine samples at the 2018 World Cup so its footballers could take drugs with impunity this summer
- This revelation is according to those close to Russian Grigory Rodchenkov
- The ex-head of Moscow anti-doping agency is now in witness protection in USA
Russia doped all its international football teams, with the Russian sports minister instructing that the players should never be caught testing positive, according to the whistleblower who has exposed the scale of corruption in Russian sport.
And Russia planned to swap urine samples at the 2018 World Cup so that its footballers could take drugs with impunity this summer, in a carbon copy of their operation at the Sochi Winter Olympics, according to those close to Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
Rodchenkov is now in witness protection in the USA, having already provided damning evidence against Russian sportsmen and women.
Russia planned to swap urine samples at World Cup so players could take drugs with impunity
But Bryan Fogel, director of Icarus, the documentary film which detailed Rodchenkov’s flight to the USA and revealed the extent of the Russian doping conspiracy, has indicated that the lab director’s testimony on football will be just as damning as for winter sports or athletics.
It means that FIFA are heading into the Russia 2018 World Cup while trying to investigate and potentially discipline the host nation for what looks like the biggest doping scandal football has known. It could lead to the Russia team losing several players and will likely lead to calls for Russia to be banned from their own World Cup.
Fogel, who spent two years investigating doping and getting to know Rodchenkov before he went into witness protection, has revealed more details about Russia’s football doping programme and how it was allegedly orchestrated by Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, who until last month was in charge of Russia 2018.
Fogel said: ‘What I know from Grigory is that the order from Mutko was: “Football must be clean.”
Whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov (pictured) is now in witness protection in the USA
‘What that meant was that there should never be positives reported in football, even though all the footballers were on the state-sponsored doping programme.’
Rodchenkov is the whistleblower who initially revealed to Fogel and then to the World Anti-Doping Agency that Russian government security agents had helped him defraud the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by passing tainted Russian samples through a hole in the wall in the anti-doping lab, to be replaced with clean urine.
Pressure is now on FIFA to interview Rodchenkov. However, FIFA have yet to make contact with him, other than indicating to the WADA intermediary that they wish to do so.
FIFA claim they want to analyse all the data they have been given to allow for a more informed interview with Rodchenkov ‘relatively soon’.
Bryan Fogel has revealed how Russia's doping problem was allegedly planned by Vitaly Mutko
Most watched Sport videos
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan: I've always dreamt of playing for Arsenal
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan's career in numbers
- Arsenal footballer Alexis Sanchez boards jet to Manchester
- Arsenal star Mesut Ozil enjoys a stroll around London
- Liverpool boss Klopp left frustrated after Swansea upset
- Premier League transfers: Sanchez and Mkhitaryan swap confirmed
- Arsene Wenger on Alexis Sanchez's decision to leave Arsenal
- Kyle Edmund in profile: Who is Britain's new tennis star?
- Tributes pour in for ex-England captain Jimmy Armfield
- 'We are not close to any deal': Wenger on signing Aubameyang
- Anthony Joshua on good form at Lucozade 'Made To Move' sesh
- Women's FA manager Phil Neville talks about wife's busy schedule