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McLaren uncovers doping in Russian football

Richard McLaren attends a press conference following the publication of his report on drug use in Russian sport © AFP / Adrian Dennis

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 9The second McLaren report into doping in Russian sport released on Friday found evidence of banned substances being used in football.

The report found football was one of more than 30 sports in which positive drug tests were covered up in Russia, which will host the 2018 World Cup, with 33 players, including foreigners, concerned.

No information about clubs or players was revealed, but evidence will now be passed on to the relevant sports federations and regulatory bodies.

“We didn’t really have a chance to look at Russian soccer across the board, to look at different teams and what’s going on,” Richard McLaren told AFP after presenting his report findings in London.

“So what we’re reporting on is certain footballers that we have information about and not what’s going on within teams or leagues.

“I think there are 33 footballers listed in the report. Not all of those are Russian by the way — some are foreigners.

“That’s barely one team in total, so I don’t think that’s enough to say much about what’s going on across the board.”

The 2018 World Cup organising committee is headed by Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the head of the Russian Football Union.

In his first report, published in July, Canadian lawyer McLaren said it was “inconceivable” Mutko did not know about the doping programme being run by the ministry of sports.

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Mutko, promoted to deputy prime minister by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has denied wrongdoing.

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