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FIFA Opens Doping-Related Disciplinary Cases Against Russian Soccer Players

The headquarters of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) in Zurich. (file photo)

The Russian Football Union says FIFA has launched disciplinary cases against three Russian soccer players who are suspected of violating anti-doping rules in 2013.

The union said in a statement on March 15 that it had received information from world soccer's governing body on the opening of disciplinary cases against two male players and one female player, according to Russian news agencies.

The statement did not identify the players but said they had not played for Russia's senior national teams.

Russian sport has been dogged by doping allegations in recent years.

In 2015, a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) outlined evidence of systematic, state-backed doping in the country. Russian officials have denied that.

Another report documented more than 1,000 doping cases across dozens of sports, most notably at the Winter Olympics, which Russia hosted in Sochi in 2014.

Russia is banned from competing as a nation at major sporting events for two years, including this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for doctoring data given to WADA that was meant to help identify drug cheats.

However, Russian athletes are able to compete under a neutral flag if they prove they have no connection with doping.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax