FIFA World Cup boss Vitaly Mutko hit with lifetime IOC ban


Russia‘s team have been banned from the Winter Olympic Games in February because of ‘systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system’.

But the International Olympic Committee have stopped short of banning their athletes altogether, allowing ‘clean’ individuals to compete in Pyeongchang ‘under strict conditions’ as an ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ with the acronym OAR.

They will compete under the Olympic flag with the Olympic anthem played at any medal ceremony.

Vitaly Mutko, president of the Russian Football Union, has been given a lifetime Olympic ban

Vitaly Mutko, president of the Russian Football Union, has been given a lifetime Olympic ban

Mutko's took part in FIFA's draw for next year's World Cup in Russia last week

Mutko’s ban is humiliating for FIFA after he took part in last week’s World Cup draw in Moscow

It is move that once again leaves the IOC open to accusations of weak leadership given that the organisation’s president, Thomas Bach, described Russian doping — in particular at the last winter Games in Sochi — as ‘an unprecedented attack on integrity of Olympic Games and sport’.

But Bach insisted at a press conference in Lausanne on Tuesday that they had a duty to ‘protect the rights of clean athletes’.

After the conclusion of a 17-month investigation led by former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, some sanctions were perhaps more significant.

A ban from all future Olympic Games for former sports minister and current Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko is hugely embarrassing for FIFA ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

Mutko remains the president of Russian football and only last week he shared a stage with FIFA president Gianni Infantino as the head of the World Cup organising committee. FIFA said the sanctions had ‘no impact on the preparations’ for the World Cup and would not comment on the action against Mutko.

In 2015 an independent, WADA-commissioned report into Russian doping said there was evidence that pointed to doping in the Russian game. This has since been supported by evidence presented by former Russian anti-doping chief-turned whistleblower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov.

Mutko is currently Russia's deputy prime minister and the country's former sports minister

Mutko is currently Russia’s deputy prime minister and the country’s former sports minister

The International Olympic Committee banned Russia from competing at the upcoming after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping that reached its peak during the 2014 Winter Olympics

On Tuesday the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from competing at the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping

However, this week Schmid said ‘many allegations that were made (by Rodchenkov in with regard to Russian football) we could not verify’.

‘That doesn’t mean they are erroneous,’ added Schmid. ‘But we were unable to prove they were correct.’

Bach was asked if he would attend the World Cup final in Moscow next July as a guest of FIFA. ‘I don’t have an invitation but when the invitation comes I will decide,’ he said.

Russia continue to deny that there was a state-sponsored doping programme and a decision is expected on Wednesday on whether president Vladimir Putin will call for Russia to boycott the Games. On Tuesday night Russian state television company VGTRK said it would not be broadcasting events in Pyeongchang.

Schmid, in summarising his…



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