Cheryshev set to be investigated for alleged drug usage before World Cup

Cheryshev set to be investigated for alleged drug usage before World Cup

- Denis Cheryshev will be investigated for alleged drug usage

- The 27-year-old scored four goals for Russia at the World Cup

- His La Liga side Valencia, have come to his defence on the issue

Spain's anti-doping agency has opened an investigation into La Liga's Russian star Denis Cheryshev.

Cheryshev played a key in his country's exploits at the World Cup last summer scoring four goals and helping his team get to the quarter finals.

Following comments made by his father, Dmitri, who told Russian publication Sport Weekend his son had received an injection containing 'growth hormone' in the lead-up to the World Cup to treat an injury.

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"We can confirm we have started an investigation to find out more information about the case," said a spokesman from the AEPSAD, the Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport, which is responsible for the fight against doping.

"The investigation is being carried out with the co-operation of Russia's anti-doping agency and is in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)."

Before Russia's round of 16 tie against Spain, Cheryshev said: "I have never used any prohibited substances and you don't even have to think twice about it."

The Russian Football Union (RFU) said as at the time of the treatment the 27-year-old received had been a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection which is legal and said the journalist had incorrectly interpreted Dmitri's words.

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The attacker joined Valencia on loan from Villarreal in August and scored in Russia's 2-1 win away to Turkey in the UEFA Nations League last Friday.

Valencia's director general Mateu Alemany said the club was unaware of the investigation, adding he believed his father had been misquoted.

"We haven't been notified about what has been published. If the player was involved in an investigation then they (the agency) should have told the club and the player," Alemany said.

"We have had no communication in any form, he was subject to controls at Villarreal and at the World Cup. After reading everything, I think it's an error in the transcription, because growth factors are not the same as growth hormones."

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that a La Liga game is set to hold in the United States, possibly as early as this year, but possibly not a Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Officials of the Spanish league announced it is planning to play a match across the Atlantic as part of a new 15-year to promote football in North America.

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