Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs during his spell with Juventus.
Ulf Karlsson, a well-known Swedish doctor who helped his country’s athletics team to an Olympic gold, is convinced Zlatan had to be on PEDs after he put on 10 kilograms in six months when he was 23.
Ibrahimovic has never failed a doping control and could now sue Karlsson, according to Spanish newspaper AS, over the allegations.
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“Zlatan put on 10 kilos in six months during his time at Juventus,”Karlsson said in an interview with Sport Bladet. “I think he was doping, that’s how it seems to me.”
Asked if he stood by his accusation, Karlsson responded: “Yes, I am convinced of it.
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“He put on 10 kilos of muscle in six months. It’s impossible to do that in such a short space of time.”
Karlsson also cites Albin Ekdal
The doctor, who has admitted he used illegal substances on some athletes during his career, was accusing Juventus rather than Ibrahimovic.
He also believes Albin Ekdal is another player who was doping at Juventus.
“Albin Ekdal put on eight kilos while he was at the club,” Karlsson added. “I think there was a culture of it at Juventus. They had a club doctor who was suspended for 22 months.”
Which is, of course, true.
However, Riccardo Agricola was given a 22-month suspended prison sentence after he was convicted of administering banned substances to Juventus players during the 1990s.
Zlatan joined the Turin-based outfit in 2004 and left two years later and the Old Lady were demoted to Serie B following the Calciopoli scandal.
Doping has become a big issue lately
Doping has become a big talking point in football over recent weeks, particularly since British doctor Mark Bonar revealed he had prescribed PEDs to Premier League footballers.
He has sensationally claimed that he’s treated players from Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Birmingham City - although no independent evidence has been found, as yet, to support these claims.
Similarly, there’s no evidence to suggest that Karlsson’s accusations against Ibrahimovic and Ekdal are true.
Until proved otherwise, we have to assume that both players are innocent of any wrongdoing.
Zlatan has been on fire this season
Zlatan, 34, is currently playing some of the best football of his entire career at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 6ft 5in striker scored his 39th goal of the season in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City on Wednesday night and is desperate to win his maiden Champions League title.
“Zlatan knows what he wants to do,” Mino Raiola, Ibrahimovic’s agent, was quoted as telling RMC by Goal. “He wants to play in the final of the Champions League, and if possible to win it.”
Is Ulf Karlsson right to be suspicious - or is he talking rubbish? Have your say by leaving a comment below.