“I don’t think anyone could envisage what he’s been through, unless they have themselves. It puts everything in perspective. “The 19th minute of applause (Petrov’s squad number is 19) at the games is fantastic, from home and away fans. “I’ve known him since he was 19 when I first played with him and never in a million years did I think anything like that would happen to him, he’s such a fit lad. “Thankfully, he’s doing great. He did a little bit of work with the fitness guys the other day. It’s great that he’s on that road. “When he comes into the building I’m pretty sure everyone will have a thought in their head, thinking ‘my God, he’s done that’ about what he’s been through. You wouldn’t be human otherwise. “It puts things into perspective and the lads love to see him, which is nice.” Petrov is now in remission having undergone chemotherapy following his diagnosis in March last year. Having spent much of the last 13 months fighting his own battle away from the club, Petrov is now able to increase his presence around Villa Park and the club’s Bodymoor Heath training base. He will cheer on his team-mates from the stands when Villa face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday and Lambert, who played with Petrov at Celtic, realises the effect his inspirational captain is having. “First and foremost it’s great that he’s in remission and as he said, he’s going to try to live a normal life,” said the Scot. Press Association Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits club captain Stiliyan Petrov is still inspiring his battling side as the Bulgarian midfielder continues his battle with leukaemia.
Mutko has vehemently denied the accusations but McLaren has said he has unwavering confidence in his findings, which include evidence of the Russian secret service the FSB being involved in covering up failed doping tests.WADA called on all Russians, set to compete at the Rio Games, to be banned but the International Olympic Committee stopped short of a blanket suspension and left it up to individual sports bodies to decide.The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is the latest to act, banning all Russian weightlifters last Friday from participating in the Games. The IWF said on its website that the multiple documented cases of doping among Russian weightlifters was shocking and disappointing and had damaged the integrity of the sport. It said the eight positions reserved for Russians had been offered to other weightlifters.Most other sports federations have banned Russians with previous doping convictions and those named in McLaren’s report but have permitted those seen as clean to go to Rio. A separate doping report last year led to the entire Russian-based track and field team being barred from Rio. Banned athletes plan to sue the authorities after the Olympics are over on August 21, Mutko added.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Russia plans to take legal action over this month’s WADA report accusing the country of running a state-sponsored sports doping program.The accusations made in a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren have led to more than 100 Russian athletes being barred from the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games which start on Friday.“We will analyse each line and proceed legally against it,” Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said yesterday on Russian sports television channel Match TV.