Premier League clubs reject doping claims

Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea have expressed their disappointment at the publication of doping allegations made against them which they claim are “without foundation”.

The three Premier League sides were all named in a Sunday Times report which claims a doctor, named by the newspaper as Dr Mark Bonar, had been secretly filmed allegedly discussing working with numerous professional athletes who used banned treatments.

However, the claims have been rejected by the clubs involved, though an independent inquiry has been ordered by the government’s culture secretary, John Whittingdale.

“Leicester City Football Club is extremely disappointed that The Sunday Times has published unsubstantiated allegations referring to players from clubs including Leicester City when, on its own admission, it has insufficient evidence to support the claims,” said a statement from the Foxes.

“Leicester City follows robust and comprehensive anti-doping protocols to ensure its full compliance and that of its players with all anti-doping rules and regulations.”

The Sunday Times report also claimed a former Chelsea fitness coach Rob Brinded had “collaborated” with Bonar but it is understood Brinded denies the allegation.

“The claims The Sunday Times put to us are false and entirely without foundation,” said a Chelsea statement.

“Chelsea Football Club has never used the services of Dr Bonar and has no knowledge or record of any of our players having been treated by him or using his services.

“We take the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in sport extremely seriously and comply fully with all anti-doping rules and regulations.

“Chelsea FC players are regularly and rigorously tested by the relevant authorities. None of our players has every failed such a test.”

Arsenal were similarly dismissive of the allegations.

“Arsenal Football Club is extremely disappointed by the publication of these false claims which are without foundation,” said their statement. “The club takes its responsibilities in this area very seriously and our players are well aware of what is expected.

“We strictly adhere to all guidelines set by the World Anti-Doping Agency and our first team players participate in approximately 50 random drugs tests during each football season.

“None of our players has ever failed such a test.”


Lifestyle

Cooking in the MasterChef kitchen is just as scary as you’d imagine, writes Georgia Humphreys.Sweet 16 as Masterchef returns

Martin Hayes doesn’t like to stand still. The fiddle virtuoso from East Clare has made it a hallmark of his career to seek out creative ideas from beyond his musical tradition.Martin Hayes: Breaking new ground

Brian Hassett is from Blackrock in Cork, and has been involved in various aspects of music in multiple guises.A Question of Taste: Brian Hassett, Coughlan's Live

'Comics are not like regular books. They spark the intellect to expand the story and the message.'Drawn to reading: Using comics and illustrated stories to promote literacy in children

More From The Irish Examiner