"It's despicable to publish such false stories and fake news," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday.

"The legislation of many countries provides for legal mechanisms for the protection against defamation. I think it's high time, especially given the reports in the German media, to study the possibility of their implementation against certain journalists and periodicals."

She added that the German media's attempts to catch Russia players "red-handed" deserved nothing but "pity."