FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura wants to eradicate doping in football and has underlined the governing body’s “zero-tolerance policy” on the problem.
The issue was thrust back into the spotlight this week when a report in the English press claimed all 23 members of Russia’s 2014 World Cup squad were under investigation for alleged drug offences.
FIFA confirmed that, along with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it is still investigating unnamed footballers who were mentioned in the 2016 report by lawyer Richard McLaren, which alleged that more than 1,000 Russian sportspersons benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme.
McLaren told German broadcaster ARD that 155 samples relating to Russian footballers have been handed to FIFA and Germany head coach Joachim Low stated on Wednesday that those under suspicion should be named.
Samoura, speaking following FIFA’s Football for Hope forum in Confederations Cup host city Kazan, insisted it would be impossible to give out any information regarding the players under investigation while the process continues.
She did, however, express her optimism that doping in football can be “terminated”.
“I think we have expressed our position,” she said. “The investigations are ongoing. We are fully collaborating with WADA and until we get a final decision from the laboratory, we cannot elaborate.
“But definitely our policy is a zero-tolerance policy for doping, not only for Russia but across the world. Hopefully this [doping] will be something that can be terminated so that we can start focusing on healthy football.”
She added: “We have the report from WADA but we’re not supposed to be disclosing any names.”
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