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Russia hits out at British media for dope allegations

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Moscow, June 29: The accusations of doping brought by British media against Russian footballers are rooted in Russias victory in the vote for the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, First Vice-President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) Nikita Simonyan said on Thursday.

"When, in 2010, we were entrusted to host the world championship, it was hard to look at great footballers Bobby Charlton and David Beckham," he said at a press conference here, reports Tass news agency.

"The British cannot calm down and keep thinking. First the doping story involving our sportsmen, then the football — saying our footballers used performance-enhancing drugs. They haven't found anything, and I don't know what else they will think up."

Simonyan was asked whether information on the alleged 155 potentially suspect test samples given by Russian football players should be taken seriously, and he said no. This information was provided by lawyer Richard McLaren in an interview with German TV channel ARD.

On Saturday, the Daily Mail published material which said that the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was investigating 34 Russian football players suspected of doping, including the entire 23-man 
Russian squad that competed in the 2014 World Cup and another 11 footballers.

The vote for the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup took place on December 2, 2010. The contenders for the 2018 World Cup, other than Russia, were England, a joint bid from Belgium and the Netherlands, and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal.

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