Arsene Wenger is once again being sought after by the UK Anti-Doping agency, with chief executive Nicole Sapstead hoping to question the Frenchman about comments made in the past, as reported by Sky Sports.
The Arsenal boss has previously spoken out about doping in football, suggesting not only that the current method of testing is ludicrous, but also that he’d faced teams guilty of doping on many occasions (via Sky Sports). He cited Dinamo Zagreb in particular, who had a player banned for doping, but suffered no other consequences themselves.
Sapstead would like to discuss these comments and others made by Wenger, and is hoping to speak with him soon.
“I would be interested to speak with him and hear what he’s got to say. I will attempt to engage with him,” she said.
“I think it’s foolish for any sport to think that they’re immune from doping, I really do.
“Statistically, worldwide, football per se does not have a doping problem. Football, tennis, other sports. It’s just, something doesn’t feel right. If you were an outsider looking in, you would go, ‘This doesn’t feel right’.
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“Football is a rich sport and they have fantastic infrastructures behind them and their clubs. You’ve got a sport that commands huge salaries, players command huge salaries, there’s huge television rights.
“I’m not saying I have any evidence to say that this is the case. But we have seen that people who want to invest in a very clever scientist or doctor to tell them what to take or when to take it or when it’s going to clear their system, you just need some money, and you need to know where to go.”
She’s not wrong, and you have to know that doping is going on in some parts of the footballing world. Whether it is happening regularly at the top level we may never know, but hopefully the detection process is refined and streamlined and we are able to make sure that doping is unquestionably not a problem in football.
Wenger himself is a strong believer in ethics and morality, and it’s impossible to see any player under his tutelage being involved in doping. The 66-year-old has often been criticised for losing the right way rather than winning the wrong way, with Wenger insisting on playing his own brand of football rather than bowing to pressure for the sake of titles.
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There are already many problems in football, from racism and homophobia to violence and match fixing. Doping really shouldn’t be one of them though, as it’s more than possible for the anti-doping agencies to do something substantial to prevent it from happening.