Arsene Wenger claims there is a doping problem in football, with the Arsenal manager revealing he has come up against “many” teams using performance-enhancing substances throughout his career.
Wenger’s comments come amid the doping scandal engulfing athletics, after an independent commission – set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – recommended on Monday that the IAAF suspend Russia from international competition for allegations of widespread systemic cheating and cover-ups in track and field.
The report’s findings have raised questions about doping across all sports and Wenger claims football is not immune.
Macedonian midfielder Arijan Ademi tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug after Dinamo Zagreb stunned Wenger’s Arsenal 2-1 in a Champions League fixture in September.
“I try to be faithful to the values that I believe to be important in life and to pass them on to others,” Wenger told L’Equipe.
“In 30 years as a manager, I’ve never had my players injected to make them better. I never gave them any product that would help enhance their performance. I’m proud of that. I’ve played against many teams that weren’t in that frame of mind.
“For me, the beauty of sport is that everyone wants to win, but there will only be one winner. We have reached an era in which we glorify the winner, without looking at the means or the method.
“And, 10 years later we realise the guy was a cheat. And during that time, the one that came second suffered. He didn’t get recognition. And, with all that’s been said about them, they can be very unhappy.”