Croatia eliminated the host nation Russia from the World Cup on Saturday, and the doctor of the Russian team, Eduard Bezuglov, has admitted that the players used ammonia, but denied any accusations of doping.
Concerns had been raised prior to the tournament given the recent history involving Russian athletes, and as the team exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-finals those question marks haven’t gone away.
“It’s simply ammonia within cotton pieces which is then inhaled,” he explained to local Russian media sources.
“This is done by thousands of athletes to spark themselves up.
“It’s been used for decades, not only in sports, but also in people’s daily lives when someone loses consciousness or feels weak.”
Bezuglov refuted suggestions that such an act constituted doping, although many don’t agree.
“It’s just because of the strong odour it gives off,” he confirmed.
“You can go to any pharmacy and buy cotton and ammonia. This has nothing to do with doping.”
German newspaper Bild reported that before the quarter-final on Saturday it was clear to see the Russian players rubbing their noses, something which the paper believes isan example of habitual use of ammonia.
Furthermore, they suggest the drug would improve blood flow and lung capacity, however the substance isn’t prohibited by FIFA’s anti-doping regulations.
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