Hajo Seppelt, a German journalist and the director of several documentaries about doping violations in Russian sports, will not attend the World Cup over fears for his own safety.
This decision was made after consultations with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and relevant security agencies. It was also known that the Russian Investigative Committee wanted to question Seppelt in the case of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant Grigory Rodchenkov.
Seppelt is on the list of individuals whose entry into Russia is undesirable, but he was granted a visa in May to work at the World Cup on an exceptional basis.
Following the release of Seppelt's first film, WADA began investing the allegations of doping abuse in Russian sports. In November 2015, WADA's Independent Commission issued a report accusing Russia of numerous breaches of global anti-doping regulations.
These accusations led, in particular, to the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and a ban on the participation of Russian athletes in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Russia has refuted the accusations of running the doping program but acknowledged that the country's athletics had some problems with doping that were being tackled.