World Cup 2018 – Drug Facts

The FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s biggest sporting events. Taking place every four years since 1930, a total of 32 countries compete in the tournament for the title over the months of June and July.


To celebrate the World Cup, each day we will look at the current drug trends and issues of each of the 32 countries taking part in this year’s tournament as drug use is health and social issue in every country worldwide. Randox Toxicology offer the world’s most comprehensive toxicology test menu with the ability to detect more than 500 drugs and counting…

As the World Cup kicks off today, we take a look into the drugs of abuse problem in the host country of Russia.



After the McLaren reports found 1,000 Russian athletes across 30 sports benefited from state-sponsored doping between 2012 and 2015, FIFA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) were prompted to launch an inquiry after a whistle-blower claimed doping had been happening with the Russian football team.  While FIFA and WADA found insufficient evidence of doping among Russian footballer players that are set to compete in this year’s World Cup, we look at how bad the issue of illicit drugs in Russia really is.

With an estimated 8.5 million Russians using drugs, the country has the largest population of injecting drug users (IDUs) in the world. Experts reported that in 2016, there were 637,482 people incarcerated in Russia of which 63% were for drug related offenses.

Opioid use is prevalent in Russia and of the 9,263 drug related deaths reported in 2010, 6,324 were connected to opioid use. Approximately 90 tons of heroin manufactured in Afghanistan is trafficked towards Russia through Central Asia each year.

Since June 2012, the Russian government has been working on its ‘State Counternarcotics Strategy until 2020’ plan. This calls on all agencies and levels of government to join the fight against illicit drugs. The strategy raised the sentence for trafficking large quantities of drugs from 20 years to life sentences and allows for the confiscation of property and money obtained by drug dealing.

With Randox Toxicology’s Evidence MultiSTAT it has never been simpler to detect up to 21 classical, prescription and synthetic drugs of abuse including opiate abuse from one single oral fluid sample. Our patented multi-analyte testing platform provides a complete immunoassay profile within minutes, changing the landscape of drug detection forever.


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To find out more about the Evidence MultiSTAT and its extensive test menu, email or visit Also, don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we look into another World Cup competing country.

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