German doping expert denied entry to Russia for World Cup

BERLIN (AP) German broadcasting network ARD says a journalist who made a documentary about extensive doping in Russian athletics has been denied entry to Russia to report on the World Cup.

ARD says in a statement a visa that one of its regional broadcasters sought for Hajo Seppelt was declared invalid on Friday on the grounds that he is on a list of people who are ”persona non grata” in Russia. No further details were given.

Seppelt and ARD have consistently revealed and reported on doping scandals, including working with whistleblowers to expose systematic cheating in Russian track and field.

ARD called the decision unprecedented, saying free access for media representatives is the norm at major events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.