Russian whistle-blower Grigory Rodchenkov has claimed that Zenit St Petersburg were involved in systematic doping from 2006 and 2017, during which time they played Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA Cup final.
The Gers faced Zenit in the 2008 showpiece in Manchester. They were unfortunately beaten 2-0, but the latest claims from Rodchenkov – who has already shined a light on the Russia’s Olympic doping policies, which he was involved in himself – have thrown the validity of that title into doubt.
“Sergey Pukhov was affiliated with (Valery) Kulichenko and he was also part of this [state] doping fraud team. And he is absolutely knowledgeable in doping schemes, with very good practical experience. So he is a good example of a “witch doctor” in football.”
This comes after comments from the late Fernando Ricksen, who said that Pukhov injected him with substances, although he never tested positive. Russia’s track record over the past few years does not make for good reading, with them having been banned from participating in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Should Rangers be given the 2008 UEFA Cup if these allegations are proven?
Unfortunately for the Gers, it will be hard to prove that they were on the end of foul play 12 years ago, but these latest comments do raise plenty of questions.
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