SOCHI/KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Soccer players who are found guilty of doping should be named and punished, Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Wednesday after FIFA said it was investigating allegations concerning Russian footballers.
“I want those organisations that are permanently testing us at training camps and during the games and before to give us the names. I want to have the names,” Loew told reporters in Sochi a day before his team faces Mexico in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup.
“Please, if these allegations can be proven, if the names are really there – they should not be hidden at all. If there is something to it, make it public and if players have doped, well, they have to be suspended.”
FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura said the game’s governing body was “fully cooperating” with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and had a zero tolerance policy for doping.
“Hopefully this will be something that can be terminated, so that we can start focusing really on healthy football,” Samoura told reporters in Kazan, where Portugal will play Chile in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday night.
FIFA said on Sunday that it was investigating allegations that footballers were among the Russian athletes who were involved in or benefited from an elaborate state-sponsored doping scheme.
FIFA, however, did not confirm a report in Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper that the 23 members of Russia’s squad at the 2014 World Cup were among those being investigated.
Russia has dismissed the allegations, insisting that doping has never been an issue in soccer in the country.
A report by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren in December said more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests.
Russia will host the next year’s World Cup and is currently staging the Confederations Cup, viewed as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 tournament.
Reporting by Moscow Newsroom; Editing by Keith Weir