FIFA protest group #NewFIFAnow has demanded Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko is suspended following the allegations made on Monday in the McLaren Report.
The report, commissioned by WADA following claims made by Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow, and carried out by Canadian law professor Dr Richard McLaren, suggested Mutko presided over a systematic, state-sanctioned doping programme in Russian sport.
WADA subsequently recommended Russian athletes be banned from the upcoming Rio Olympics and Paralympics, while International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said his organisation “will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated”. Russian track and field competitors are already subject to an IAAF suspension.
Mutko said he was “disappointed” by the findings of the report.
In a statement, #NewFIFAnow has called for action against Mutko, who is also president of the Russian Football Union, a member of FIFA’s executive committee and chief organiser of the 2018 World Cup. It read: “The position of Vitaly Mutko is no longer tenable. #NewFIFANow calls on FIFA and UEFA to suspend him pending further action.
“Mutko is the Russian Sports Minister who has presided over the state-sanctioned doping measures detailed in the McLaren Report. The report provided conclusive evidence of doping in all sports in Russia, including football.
“Mutko is also a member of the executive of UEFA, a FIFA Council member, President of the Organising Committee of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and President of the Russian Football Union.”
#NewFIFANow co-founder Jaimie Fuller added: “We note that Mr Mutko is entitled to the presumption of innocence about his level of involvement.
“Having said that, the McLaren report pulls no punches and is very clear.
“As a minimum, we call on FIFA and UEFA to suspend Mr Mutko from his football roles pending further action and sanctions in respect of the broader issues.
“If they do not, it condemns FIFA and UEFA by their inaction.”
Fuller also suggested Russia should be stripped of hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup.
“Football has to stand for its sport and the men and women who play it. Such flagrant flouting of the integrity of sport must be condemned,” he said.
“Any nation that sanctions such activity should not be rewarded with hosting football’s showpiece event.”
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