Russia's right to host the 2018 World Cup amid revelations about a state-sponsored doping programme has been questioned by MP Damian Collins. A World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report detailed an "institutional conspiracy" involving more than 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Football was one of 30 sports implicated by the McLaren report. "Fifa now have to look very seriously at the way in which the World Cup is going to be staged," said Collins.
"How can Russia give confidence to Fifa and to the world that there will be proper anti-doping measures in place during the World Cup?" Russia's sports ministry denied claims of a state-sponsored doping programme, but Richard McLaren, author of the Wada report, said international sports competitions had been "unknowingly hijacked by the Russians" for Years. The Canadian described the London 2012 Olympic Games as "corrupted on an unprecedented scale". Collins, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, added: "It does taint the London Games. What is shocking from the report is this was state sanctioned.
"It's not just widespread abuse by Russian coaches and athletes, it is something that has been planned and executed with the authority and support of the Russian government." Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was sports minister during the time detailed by the McLaren report, and is seeking re-election to the ruling committee of Fifa, football's governing body. "It does call into question how someone like Vitaly Mutko, who was sports minister - and in the Wada report they said it would have been impossible for him not to know what was going on - can sit on the Fifa council," added Collins. "The sports bodies have to not only take action against Russian athletes competing, until we can be confident the anti-doping regime in Russia is robust and being honestly pursued, but also look at the role of Russian sports administrators and politicians who have senior positions in the governing bodies of world sports.
"How can they hold these positions if they are implicated in this massive state-sponsored doping scandal?" Mutko, who chairs the 2018 World Cup organising committee, has said Russia will resort to legal action in response to the allegations of institutionalised doping.