The doctor at the centre of a Sunday Times report claiming he aided players from Premier League clubs in taking performance-enhancing drugs appeared to distance himself from the allegations.
The newspaper reported London-based doctor Mark Bonar was secretly filmed stating he had given athletes, including footballers, cyclists and tennis players, access to banned substances.
The Sunday Times acknowledged it had no independent evidence of the medic providing such treatment and made no suggestion that any of the clubs named had any knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing.
Bonar is said to have told the newspaper he administered treatment to the athletes for medical reasons and not to enhance performance, while it has not been suggested the substances were illegal.
Later on Sunday, posts on a Twitter page purported to be Bonar’s personal account accused the Sunday Times piece of being “false” and “very misleading”.
The tweets read: “The @SundayTimesNews allegations are false and very misleading. I have never had a relationship with any premier football club or player.
“I have never prescribed Androgen therapy for the purpose of performance enhancement.. I treat symptomatic men with low Test [testosterone] levels.”
Following the article’s publication, the UK government called for an urgent inquiry into the operations of the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), which launched an investigation into the doctor in 2014 but found “there was nothing to indicate that Dr Bonar was governed by a sport”. A statement from UKAD confirmed it would conduct its own independent review.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City all moved to strongly deny claims that their players were among the 150 unnamed athletes Bonar is alleged to have assisted, labelling them “false” and “without foundation”, while the Football Association welcomed UKAD’s move to review the issues raised by the Sunday Times investigation.
Later on Sunday, the World Anti-Doping Agency also tweeted its backing of a review into the allegations.
A post from WADA’s official account, said: “WADA wholeheartedly supports independent review of @thesundaytimes allegations in the UK. We await conclusions from inquiry with interest.”
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