Russian athletes are constantly suspected of taking substances to improve performance, and the latest accusations come from Germany and are aimed at the national football team.
German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung claims that Russian players sniffed ammonia, a non-banned substance, to improve their performance during their games at the World Cup.
The report cites a spokesperson for the Russian federation, who admitted to the Bavarian newspaper that one of the Russian substitutes sniffed a cotton ball doused in ammonia before entering the field in the game against against Spain.
As common as using shampoo in the shower
While Ammonia is not classed as a prohibited substance in international anti-doping regulations, it is known to help improve athletic performance, by stimulating breathing and improving the flow of oxygen in the blood. "The Russian Federation acted as if it were something as common as using shampoo in the shower," states the Süddeutsche Zeitung article.
Süddeutsche Zeitung is not the first in the German media to link Russian players with the use of ammonia. Tabloid newspaper Bild claimed that images broadcast by German public television of Russian players rubbing their noses during the quarter final game against Croatia suggested that they were using the performing-enhancing substance.