A presenter holds the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia during an event to announce the new 2018 FIFA Fan Fest Ambassadors in Moscow, Russia November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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Gary Lineker was fuming, staggered at how FIFA's executives were carving up the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.Russia triumphed in the 2018 contest, delivering a coup for leader Vladimir Putin who jetted into Zurich to celebrate.More surprising, perhaps, is that Russia even wants to be so closely associated with Lineker.The International Olympic Committee is still working its way through the mass of evidence unearthed about the state-sponsored doping program around the Sochi Games, banning another wave of cheating athletes this week and deciding whether to bar Russia from entering a team at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.However, football was infected by the scheme, with World Anti-Doping Agency investigators saying positive tests were apparently covered up and arrangements were in place to protect players from Russia's 2014 World Cup squad if they were to test positive in the country before the tournament.Russia's World Cup squad has not been directly accused of doping, but the documents do include records of alleged drug use among players from youth national teams.
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