Following the publication of the McLaren reports, FIFA launched investigations into possible anti-doping rule violations by football players, prioritising high-level players against whom a suspicion had been raised, in particular those who might participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
FIFA can today confirm that the investigations concerning all Russian players named for the provisional squad of the FIFA World Cup in Russia have been completed, with the result that insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation. FIFA has informed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of its conclusions, and WADA in turn has agreed with FIFA’s decision to close the cases.
FIFA’s investigations included the following:
– An assessment of all information and evidence contained in the McLaren report, with the support of scientific and legal experts.
– Contact was made with Professor McLaren to obtain further details from him and discuss the approach that FIFA should take.
– Samples taken by FIFA and the confederations that had been stored at WADA-accredited laboratories of all players mentioned in the McLaren reports and high-level players, were re-analysed for prohibited substances, and all results were negative.
– Samples seized by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory were re-analysed for prohibited substances. All results were negative.
– Samples seized by WADA from the Moscow laboratory and stored at the Lausanne laboratory were subjected to forensic analysis (for scratches/marks and abnormal salt levels). For this process, FIFA applied the methodology recommended by WADA and used by the International Olympic Committee. None of the samples analysed showed marks that were typical of tampering and the urine did not show any suspect salt values.
– Questions were sent to Dr Grigory Rodchenkov and his answers assessed with the support of scientific and legal experts.
– The Laboratory Information Management System data of the Moscow laboratory provided by WADA was assessed with the support of scientific and legal experts.
– Target tests of players: FIFA performed several unannounced targeted doping controls in the process of the investigations and the Russian squad has been one of the most tested teams prior to the FIFA World Cup™.
In accordance with the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations and the World Anti-Doping Code, FIFA cannot provide any names of individuals involved in the investigations. Investigations of several players unrelated to the FIFA World Cup™ are still ongoing and FIFA will continue to work on these cases in cooperation with WADA. Further updates will be provided in due course.