Zlatan Ibrahimovic is preparing to sue Ulf Karlsson after the Swedish doctor made the extraordinary claim that his career has been aided by the abuse of banned substances.
Karlsson claimed that Ibrahimovic used performance-enhancing drugs to aid muscle development whilst playing for Juventus between 2004 and 2006.
The doctor claims that Ibrahimovic gained 10 kilograms of muscle in the space of six months, something he believes can only be achieved through doping.
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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.”
Unsurprisingly, Ibrahimovic's camp have been quick to respond to the allegations and his agent Mino Raiola, who also represents Paul Pogba and Mario Balotelli, came out swinging.
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He confirmed that legal proceedings are already underway against Karlsson and warned the doctor that he has made a "big mistake" by making his misguided suspicions public.
Indeed, Karlsson is going to find it very difficult to prove his allegations as Ibrahimovic has never failed a drugs test despite being tested hundreds of times.
Speaking to Swedish paper Expressen, Raiola said: "We will sue him. I’m not an expert, but we have a Swedish lawyer. We are not saying who the lawyer is. That will come later.
"There are always people who hate. Maybe [Dr Karlsson] is a former athlete who failed. Maybe he’s jealous.
"This man has made a big mistake. He will have had a life before this statement, and a life after it. He is spreading falsehoods.
"We had plenty of doping controls at Juventus. Zlatan was tested between fifteen and twenty times. He was tested all the time. Juventus were put under the microscope.
"It’s ridiculous. The facts are not there. We can prove that it is not true. At all the clubs Zlatan has been at, he doesn’t even take aspirin!
"[Zlatan] is calm. He’s more embarrassed that he missed a penalty yesterday. He said this is not the arena to respond to these kinds of allegations."
As Raiola pointed out, Ibrahimovic probably has much bigger things to worry about than the frivolous claims of Karlsson. Not only is he attempting to win his first Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain this season, but he is likely to be on the lookout for a new club at the end of the campaign.
And regardless of the outcome of this mess, a number of clubs are going to be keen to sign him. Premier League clubs Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham have all been credited with an interest while lucrative offers from China are stacking up.
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