The hero of Russia’s shock march to the World Cup quarter-finals is under investigation by a second anti-doping agency over an interview in which his own father was quoted discussing an injection he was given containing “growth hormone”.
As his country return to action following their best run at football’s flagship tournament since the fall of the Soviet Union, Telegraph Sport can reveal Denis Cheryshev is being probed by Spanish anti-doping chiefs, having already been interviewed by their Russian counterparts.
The midfielder, who last month joined Valencia on loan from Villarreal after scoring four goals in five World Cup matches, was forced to deny taking banned substances this summer following comments attributed to his father, Dmitri, by Russian publication Sport Weekend.
Cheryshev Snr, a manager who was himself a former international, had been quoted saying his son received an injection containing “growth hormone” while sidelined during the build-up to Russia 2018.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) announced the treatment the player received had been a perfectly-legal platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, accusing the journalist who interviewed his father of having “incorrectly interpreted his words” and adding: “This is confirmed by the recording of the interview.”
Sport Weekend stood by the “growth hormone” quote attributed to the 49-year-old but said it accepted it was never intended or understood to mean actual growth hormone, stating he had also referred in the interview to “growth factor”, another term for PRP therapy.