Say It Ain’t So

By | April 5, 2016

Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, Tyson Gay, Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Diego Maradona, and the list goes on and on.

If you don’t know what all of these people have in common, you should probably get out from whatever rock you have been living under. However, in all seriousness, you don’t want to be associated with the company listed above. Over the years, all of these individuals have been connected to doping or performance enhancing drug scandals. The latest additions to the club: undisclosed players from Arsenal, Chelsea, and Leicester City?

In a secret filming conducted by The Sunday Times, Dr. Mark Bonar claims to have “treated” 150 athletes, including several players from top English Premier League clubs. He claims to have prescribed erythropoietin (EPO), which increases red blood cell production, human growth hormone (HGH), and anabolic steroids (Johnston). Given EPO, HGH, and anabolic steroids are banned by all major sporting bodies, Bonar’s claims could mar the reputations of involved players and clubs for years to come. Furthermore, these allegations could result in heavy fines and long suspensions.

Like all classic doping scandals, this isn’t the first time the perpetrator has been accused. Similar allegations were brought to the attention of the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) agency 2 years ago. However, instead of taking action the allegations were cast aside as rubbish. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Leicester City have already denied any connections to Dr. Bonar. Hell, Dr. Bonar himself has already denied any relationship to any EPL club or player via Twitter (“Anti-doping: Arsenal, Chelsea & Leicester deny ‘false’ claims”).

And the cherry to top off this already savory story, Dr. Bonar was fired last Friday after news leaked he was practicing without a valid license in the UK. Furthermore, he is facing allegations he provided patients with inadequate care (Johnston). In a way, all of the disjointed pieces here resemble a makeshift picture. Malfeasance is characteristic of all serious doping scandals (see Anthony Bosch), and from the looks of it Dr. Bonar has enough to go around.

As a result, UKAD has a launched an investigation with the FA’s cooperation into the Premier League teams in question. Also, an internal investigation has been launched into the handling of the previous allegations from two years ago.

Now whether this whole situation blows up and the likes of Alexis Sanchez’s or Diego Costa’s magnitude are linked with indisputable evidence to Dr. Bonar or even if no player is found guilty of doping, doubt has been instilled in the minds of all connected to the sport. Relatively unmarred by doping related scandals, football’s world has yet to be rocked. Regardless of whatever is uncovered in the UKAD investigation, you can count on these allegations becoming more prevalent as players try to push their physical limits. For the integrity of the sport, I hope UKAD says it ain’t so.



“Anti-doping: Arsenal, Chelsea & Leicester Deny ‘false’ Claims.” BBC Sport. BBC, 3 Apr. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Johnston, Ian. “Anti-doping Watchdog Faces Investigation as Premier League Clubs Dismiss Drugs Claims.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 3 Apr. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.




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