The Russian Football Union has moved to deny their involvement in the doping scandal enveloping the country by insisting that there is nothing unusual about ten clones of midfielder Aleksandr Kokorin being named for their upcoming friendly against Portugal.

In addition to the multiple Kokorins, eyebrows have also been raised about the fact that goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has grown from 6 foot 1 to over 7 feet, and now shows no sign of physical pain when punched in the face. However, manager Leonid Slutsky has said that this is a result of intense training with CSKA Moscow, and nothing to do with any mysterious injections that may have taken place.

Slutsky said: ‘No, there’s nothing to report here. It’s all lies dreamt up by enemies of Vladimir Putin intent on bringing down this great country. If I want to literally build a team round Kokorin, there’s nothing in the rules to say I can’t. If Igor appears even larger than before, then we must congratulate him on the hard work he’s put in on the training ground, and celebrate his domineering presence’.

When asked why forward Pavel Pogrebnyak had suddenly developed a pair of breasts, Slutsky replied: ‘When you get towards the end of your career, it’s only natural that you start taking on some extra weight. He’s 32 now, so of course his body is changing. Seriously, there’s no story here’.

Russia and Portugal square off in Krasnodar on November 14.