Fifa’s ethics committee is studying Wada’s allegations that Russian sports minister and chairman of its successful bid to host the 2018 World Cup, Vitaly Mutko, was “complicit” in a cover-up of doping in Russian athletics.
“The investigatory chamber is analysing carefully this documentation and then we will come up with any further procedures… if at all,” a spokesman for the investigatory chamber of Fifa’s ethics committee told World Football Insider.
Richard Pound, head of Wada’s independent commission, on Monday delivered a scathing verdict on doping in Russia following an 11-month investigation.
Commenting specifically on the involvement of Mutko, a member of Fifa’s exco, Pound said it was “not possible for him to be unaware of it. If he was aware of it then he was complicit in it”.
Wada’s independent commission met with Mutko in Zurich on Sept. 22 . The sports minister was in town for Fifa meetings and was accompanied by Russia 2018 ceo Alexey Sorokin.
According to Wada’s report released on Monday, Mutko spoke about the Russian government’s funding “ to build up the best laboratories and the best methods of testing athletes in the interests of clean sport; no conditions are set by the government”.
The sports minister told the commission officials that he was “disgusted with the whistleblowers, does not believe their allegations and says they had no right to make the recordings and that such tapings are matters for the public prosecutors”, a reference to the German television channel ARD’s documentary “Top Secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners” screened last December
Among the conclusions of Pound’s commission was that the sports ministry “did nothing to investigate the serious allegations of criminal conduct on the part of Russian sport officials”.
Mutko, though, has called the report’s conclusions “baseless” and “really fictional.”
“The Russian doping agencies today are really independent from the government,” Mutko said, adding that the country will continue to finance and endorse sports.
“We only collect samples that are then stored in a laboratory and are supervised for decades. It is not Russia that now heads the anti-doping organization.”
He hit back at Pound’s statement at the press conference in which the former Wada president said Mutko was “complicit” in a cover-up of Russian doping.
“There is the report of the commission and there is the opinion of Mr. Pound, who actually overstepped and exceeded the competence of this commission, and gave his personal assessment, rather a general assessment of the entire anti-doping activities in Russia,” Mutko told Russia Today.
In a statement released late last night, Mutko’s ministry said.
“The ministry of sport of the Russian Federation follows Wada’s strong recommendations and we do not interfere in Rusada and anti-doping laboratory work,” the statement said. “In turn, we are open to close cooperation with Wada in order to eliminate any violations of Rusada and the accredited laboratory.”