Moscow, March 18 (IANS) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has brushed off media allegations that certain Russian footballers were mentioned in the now infamous McLaren report on the widespread doping abuse among the national sportspersons.
Various media agencies reported earlier citing their own sources in FIFA that certain footballers playing for Russia's leading football clubs were mentioned in the McLaren list. The players mentioned particularly were Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow FC), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow FC), Yury Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg FC) and Igor Denisov (Lokomotiv Moscow FC), reports Tass news agency.
"Our footballers' names mentioned in the McLaren list? I believe that (FIFA Secretary General Fatma) Samoura gave more than a thorough reply to this question when she was in St. Petersburg," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with Tass on Friday after being asked to comment on media reports.
FIFA had repeatedly rebutted such accusations and Fatma, the organisation's secretary general, announced during her visit to St. Petersburg earlier this month that there was no evidence regarding possible violations of doping regulations by Russian players.
Last week on Thursday, Samoura attended celebratory events dedicated to the 100-day countdown to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup both in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The FIFA Confederations Cup, which is also viewed by experts as a rehearsal a year prior to the FIFA World Cup, will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia.