FIFA says no doping cases against Russian squad members

Workers prepare from flowers and grass a giant FIFA 2018 sign outside Rostov Arena in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on May 12, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 22 May 2018
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FIFA says no doping cases against Russian squad members

ZURICH: Global soccer body FIFA said on Tuesday that none of the players named in Russia’s provisional squad for next month’s World Cup have committed doping offenses.
FIFA said in a statement that, following the publication of the McLaren report, it launched investigations “into possible anti-doping rule violations by football players, prioritising high-level players against whom a suspicion had been raised, in particular those who might participate” at the World Cup.
It concluded that “insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation” in the cases of all Russian squad members.
However, it added that investigations of several players unrelated to the World Cup were continuing.
“FIFA will continue to work on these cases in cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency. Further updates will be provided in due course,” it said.
The McLaren report, commissioned by WADA, said more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests.
It said that soccer was one of more than 30 sports involved.
Russia has acknowledged some findings of the McLaren report but has repeatedly denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping program.


UAE end Kyrgyzstan’s Asian Cup odyssey

Updated 22 January 2019
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UAE end Kyrgyzstan’s Asian Cup odyssey

  • Substitute Ahmed Khalil was UAE’s hero on an angst-ridden Abu Dhabi night as he blasted home from the spot in the first additional period
  • Less than a quarter of an hour earlier Kyrgyzstan substitute Tursunali Rustamov had stunned the home side when he snatched a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates: Hosts United Arab Emirates ended Kyrgyzstan’s fairytale with a controversial extra-time penalty to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals on a 3-2 soreline Monday.
Substitute Ahmed Khalil was UAE’s hero on an angst-ridden Abu Dhabi night as he blasted home from the spot in the first additional period to set up a meeting with the Socceroos in the last eight.
Less than a quarter of an hour earlier Kyrgyzstan substitute Tursunali Rustamov had stunned the home side when he snatched a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer at the end of a nail-biting contest.
It had taken the Emirates just 14 minutes to break through as Khamis Esmaeel headed in an Ismail Matar corner.
Plucky Kyrgyzstan refused to go unnoticed on their Asian Cup debut, however, and the White Falcons equalized midway through the first half when Mirlan Murzaev squeezed the ball in from a seemingly impossible angle.
Kyrgyz captain Valery Kichin then gave UAE a scare when his curling shot crashed against the crossbar.
But Ali Mabkhout volleyed the 2015 semifinalists back in front with his third goal of the tournament after some horror defending from Mustafa Iusupov.
That looked to have ended Kyrgyz defiance until Rustamov headed home in the dying seconds to force extra time.
But after Mabkhout had tumbled in the box under minimal contact, the Asian Cup hosts were awarded a penalty that was hotly disputed — for the second time in this tournament.
Khalil kept his cool though and drilled home the spot kick on 103 minutes to give UAE a shot at avenging their semifinal defeat by Australia four years ago.
There was still time for Baktyiar Duishobekov and Rustamov to hit the woodowork, but the Emiratis somehow clung on.