Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday that Russia will successfully host the 2018 football World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup despite the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) move to relocate its world championships from the country for rampant doping abuse.
The reputation of Russian sport suffered a significant blow in 2016, but will be able to endure it, reports Tass.
“I see no problems regarding the World Cup and I do not think that it will involve football,” Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said.
“Somebody may be pursuing such an aim, but the World Cup has nothing to do with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report,” Mutko said. “We are developing our infrastructure and building modern stadiums, hotels.”
“On the whole, the World Cup will boost the development of 11 cities and will leave its heritage and we have no worries in this regard,” Mutko added.
IBSF on Tuesday announced its decision to relocate the 2017 World Championship from the Russian city of Sochi to another venue, which would be determined by the end of the week. The decision was made in light of numerous allegations of doping abuse and manipulations in Russian sport.
“It was not easy in Rio de Janeiro, but the team performed brilliantly,” Mutko, who oversees the issues regarding sports, tourism and youth policies in the country, said. “We have shown that sporting high achievements in Russia are at a very high level.”
“The year of 2016 was not easy and the reputation of the Russian sport suffered a significant blow. I am sure that we all together can overcome this challenge and return to the sports family.”
“We are able to establish a strong anti-doping system,” he said. “I am sure we can manage it as well as our athletes. The strength of the Russian sport is in our athletes, coaches and people, who are creating all the conditions for them.”
Beginning this year Russian athletes were constantly in focus for numerous doping abuse accusations. WADA’s Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, conducted an investigation into doping allegations in Russian sports and eventually came up with a two-part report, the first delivered in July and the second on December 9.