Moscow - Russian
Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who has been hit with a lifetime
ban from the Olympic Games over doping, on Monday said he is suspending
his role as president of the Russian Football Union while he contests
the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"I have decided to file the claim in the CAS tomorrow," he said.
that our organisations are not disturbed during the legal
investigation... I have asked to suspend my duties for up to six
months," Mutko told journalists after a meeting of the RFU executive
He said that he will continue his duties in the
government as well as preparing the World Cup which is being staged in
Russia this summer until Russian leadership decides otherwise.
the issues of relationship with FIFA and the organising committee, as
long as the president (Vladimir Putin) trusts me, I continue to work as
deputy premier and oversee the preparations for the world
championships," he said.
He said he would "suggest" stepping down
as chairman of the World Cup organising committee he heads, but "it
would be decided by the head of state, the head of government and the
Mutko said RFU's director Alexander Alayev
will become acting president for the duration of his own suspension,
which could last less than six months depending on the duration of the
Alayev told journalists that his goal would be to "keep stability" and "avoid any scandal" during the six months.
said he decided to contest his ban in court because failure to do so
would make him seem guilty. However, he denied that he is resigning.
"I'm not resigning, my mandate is still active."
deputy prime minister had been banned from the Rio 2016 Games. This
month he was banned for life from all Olympic Games after the
International Olympic Committee said he was involved in a state-backed
Despite the ban, Mutko has retained his role as head of the Russia 2018 World Cup organising committee.
has contacted Canadian law professor Richard McLaren about his report
about state-organised doping in Russia which named several Russian
FIFA said Monday that Mutko's decision will not impact the World Cup.
understands Mr Mutko's decision which was also taken in the best
interest of the World Cup next summer. FIFA thanks Mr. Mutko for this
responsible step and for the work carried out so far for the World Cup,"
said a FIFA spokesman.
"Mr Mutko's decision will have no impact
on the successful staging of the World Cup next summer, as FIFA, the
Russian government, RFU and the local organising committee continue
their fruitful cooperation on the preparations for the World Cup
according to plan."
Mutko, 58, had until now retained his posts in
Russia throughout the doping scandal, and was even promoted from sports
minister. He has dismissed doping allegation as an attempt to create an
image of an "axis of evil" against his country.
Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games were clean and that
Russia "did a colossal job" to meet requirements by the world
anti-doping body to clear its name.
Mutko in March was barred from
sitting on the FIFA Council, the world body's ruling top table where
the Russian sports official had a seat since 2009.
His participation was blocked because of potential conflicts of interest with his government role.