SANTA MONICA – With the FIFA World Cup quickly approaching, fans can take comfort in knowing that Russia will not be involved with the drug testing procedures. To prevent tampering with samples, FIFA announced last week. Russia was disqualified from the Summer Olympics in 2016 and Winter Olympics in 2018 for doping.
While some Russian athletes still competed in the Winter Olympics under an independent association, it wasn’t the first time the country has had issues. Back in 2014, Russia was also banned from the 2014 Winter Olympics for “a massive state-sponsored doping program.” In 2016, more than 1,000 Russian competitors were found involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests over a five-year period by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
However, Russia continues to deny that any state-sponsored program ever existed but admits to some findings in the conspiracy report.
FIFA plans to take players into a controlled room with two FIFA associated Doctors and two FIFA associated medical professionals. No one else will be allowed in the room at any given time.
But Russia benefits from the procedure protocols as much as FIFA and other teams do. A large effort in the process is to protect any disputes over the validity of the test and protects Russia from facing any unnecessary accusations.