After the semifinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia were over, FIFA officially declared the championship in Russia doping-free in a statement on Thursday, APA reports quoting TASS.
According to the world football’s governing body, all doping samples taken before and during the tournament yielded a negative result.
Allegations of flawed national anti-doping system in Russia were widely circulated by its opponents before the start of the tournament. FIFA has repeatedly said that independent bodies will be involved in anti-doping measures during the event.
Since January 2018, a total of 2,037 tests, producing 3,985 samples, have been conducted by FIFA, national anti-doping agencies and confederations. A total of 2,761 samples were collected directly by FIFA in unannounced controls prior to the competition and 626 during it (including 108 collected on non-matchdays). One player was in possession of a therapeutic use exemption for the substance detected.
All samples collected were analyzed at WADA-accredited laboratories, with most of the analyses - particularly of all of the samples collected during the competition - carried out to the laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. To ensure a tamper-proof operation, FIFA transported all the samples in a secure box of a type that is normally used by banks to transport money, which can only be opened with an electronic key.
"The testing program in place this year was the largest ever conducted for a FIFA World Cup," FIFA said. "Once all of the qualified teams for the final competition were known, FIFA developed a test distribution plan (TDP) based on an analysis of doping risks for football. The TDP was shared and agreed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and consisted of a dynamic, intelligence-based testing program."