MOSCOW — Vitaly Mutko, a top Russian official who has been dogged by allegations of involvement in the Russian doping program, said he would step down as head of the organizing committee of soccer’s 2018 World Cup.
Mutko told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that he would be replaced by another World Cup organizer, Alexei Sorokin.
Mutko’s announcement comes two days after he said he would temporarily step down as president of the Russian Football Union in an apparent move to deflect international criticism as Russia prepares to host the World Cup next year.
Investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee alleged that Mutko, who served as Russia’s sports minister during the Games, was involved in a state-sponsored doping program during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He has strongly denied all doping allegations.
The I.O.C. didn’t accuse Mutko of being personally involved in doping, but banned him from the Olympics for life, saying he and his ministry bore overall responsibility for “failure to respect” antidoping rules.
FIFA barred Mutko, a former top executive of the organization, from seeking re-election to its council last March, citing a new requirement that top officials be politically neutral, Mutko said.