Russia Olympic ban 'no impact' on WC: FIFA

Dec 5, 2017 - 9:21 PM Russian World Cup organising chief Vitaly Mutko being banned for life from the Olympic Games has "no impact" on next year's soccer World Cup, FIFA said.

"FIFA has taken note of the decision made by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) regarding the participation of Russian athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympics," a statement from world soccer's governing body read.

"This decision has no impact on the preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as we continue to work to deliver the best possible event."

The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee in connection with systematic doping practices in the country, including manipulation of samples at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, but will allow athletes to compete as neutrals at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

It handed a life-ban from the Games to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, the sports minister in 2014, and current World Cup organising committee leader.

Mutko was a member of the FIFA council until May and before last Friday's World Cup draw denied Russia had been involved in systematic doping.

FIFA said it takes its responsibility in anti-doping measures "very seriously" and it was investigating the allegations made in reports by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren.

"Should there be enough evidence to demonstrate the violation of any anti-doping rules by any athlete, FIFA would impose the appropriate sanction," the governing body said.

And it reiterated all doping samples taken during the World Cup would be carried out at WADA laboratories outside Russia.

Source: AAP

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