Real Madrid say captain Sergio Ramos has “never breached anti-doping control regulations”, in relation to allegations made by Der Spiegel newspaper.
The German publication made a series of claims, as part of the Football Leaks investigation, which suggested Spain international Ramos had broken anti-doping protocol on two occasions. The first related to an alleged post-match mix-up following the Champions League final against Juventus in 2017 in which Der Spiegel claim traces of a forbidden substance were found in Ramos’ sample. But Madrid were swift to issue a response, in which they stated: “1. Sergio Ramos has never breached anti-doping control regulations. “2. UEFA requested timely information and closed the matter immediately, as is usual in these cases, after verification by the experts themselves from the World Anti-Doping Agency, AMA, and UEFA itself. “3. Regarding the rest of the content from the aforementioned publication, the club does not pronounce itself before the evidence of its insubstantial nature.” The mix-up is reported to have occurred after a Madrid doctor allegedly filled in a doping form incorrectly relating to a drug administered to Ramos before the game against Juve. Ramos was given dexamethasone to treat knee and shoulder injuries, but betamethasone was recorded on the form instead. Both anti-inflammatory drugs are permitted under WADA rules but only if they are declared by doctors post match. Der Spiegel also claim UEFA was aware of the mistake but was satisfied it was an administrative error and that no further action need be taken. In a statement, UEFA “strongly and categorically refuted unfounded allegations it has covered up positive doping results”. The statement added: “All UEFA doping control cases are conducted in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. “UEFA has informed both WADA and FIFA of all such cases as required by the WADA Code and UEFA has provided all detailed information, expert reports and evidence during the handling of such cases. “It must be underlined that both WADA and FIFA have the right to appeal any decision taken by UEFA on doping control matters to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). “However, neither WADA nor FIFA did lodge any such appeal to CAS and WADA itself has officially confirmed that everything was dealt with appropriately by UEFA and in accordance with the Code.” When contacted by Omnisport, WADA said: “WADA reviewed this case at the time and concluded that it was handled appropriately by the relevant authority (UEFA).” The second claim made by Der Spiegel alleges Ramos knowingly broke anti-doping rules by showering prior to providing a sample after the LaLiga game against Malaga in April 2018. The newspaper says the case was handled by AEPSAD, the Spanish anti-doping agency. Omnisport have contacted AEPSAD for comment. Of this case, WADA said: “We were not aware of this matter and we will contact the relevant testing authority (AEPSAD) for more information.”