Russia’s football team used ammonia inhalants during their World Cup campaign, their doctor has revealed.

Speaking to, Eduard Bezuglov, admitted that the team’s use of the ammonia based chemical, but insisted it could not be construed as doping.

“This is common ammonia, which is moistened in cotton wool and breathed in,” he told “This is done by thousands of athletes to perk them up...It has nothing to do with doping,” he added.

The revelation followed a video released by German newspaper showing Russian player rubbing their noses during games.

Ammonia inhalants or smelling salts are not prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Code, but are used by powerlifters to improve performance.

Ammonia acts as a stimulant, delaying fatigue and fit the definition of doping, Bild cited experts as saying.