Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has remarked that doping is useless in football and Russian players have never made use of performance enhancing drugs.

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister went on to comment that the British media should refrain from voluntarily taking up the role of press secretaries of FIFA. Mutko also remarked that the accusations against the Russian football players were politically motivated and said it was no coincidence that they emerged during the FIFA Confederations Cup that Russia is hosting on the highest level. Mutko also commented that we see a great desire to discredit Russia and discredit Russian sports and all our efforts. The Russian Deputy PM also said we know that many western media outlets are trying to report only on the negative sides and one should not therefore pay attention to these reports.

Mutko, who is also head of the Russian Football Union, vehemently denied doping allegations against football stars of the country. Mutko remarked there was never use of doping in Russian football, especially, on a systematic level. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister also said all the players from the Russian roster were also tested ahead of the tournament after they arrived at their training camp in Austria.

The Confederations Cup, hosted in the Russian cities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, is seen by many as the dress rehearsal by Russia ahead of the World Cup. The tournament that will conclude on July 2 has brought together Portugal, Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Australia, and New Zealand (the champions of FIFA’s six regional confederations) along with current World Cup holders Germany and host nation Russia. Hosts Russia were beaten by Mexico 2-1 and failed to qualify to the playoffs. Mutko said he still enjoyed the team’s performance and remarked you always want to win but we lost and there is nothing to be ashamed for the team as they fought until the end, trying to find the net despite being a man down.

Interestingly, Mutko was named in the WADA commissioned McLaren report as someone who played a key role in the wider Russian doping scandal. The McLaren independent Investigations Report of 2016 that was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and compiled by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren claimed an extensive Russian state-sponsored system of doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Russia was recently accused by the British Media of using forbidden substances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was claimed by Daily Mail that the world governing body of football has launched an investigation into national football squad of Russia at the World Cup in Brazil being part of a state-sponsored doping program.

In a statement, FIFA denied the accusations by Daily Mail of doping by Russian players. The world governing body of football said it has simply confirmed that it is still investigating in close collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency the allegations involving football players in the so-called McLaren report. The statement further reads that FIFA did not refer to any particular players as it cannot comment on the status of ongoing investigations.

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