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15 Premier League players fail drugs tests as disturbing information emerges

15 Premier League players fail drugs tests as disturbing information emerges

According to a research, 15 Premier League players failed drug tests between 2015 and 2020, yet none were banned.

Twelve of the fifteen tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing chemicals, while another was still being investigated five months after his original test, but no penalty was imposed.

There were 88 positive tests among footballers in England, Scotland, and Wales throughout a seven-year period beginning in 2013.

The 12 incidences of performance-enhancing substances included one positive test for amphetamine and three positive tests for triamcinolone, the corticosteroid taken by Sir Bradley Wiggins prior to his Tour de France triumph in 2012.

Four positives for the stimulant Ritalin were also found in the cases involving Premier League players.

One positive test resulted for the testosterone booster Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that is commonly abused in cycle and MMA. 

Other top-tier positives included the steroids prednisolone and a derivative, as well as the diuretic indapamide, which can be used to disguise the presence of other prohibited medications.

Following a series of Freedom of Information requests,  The Mail exposed the story.

None of the cases resulted in doping bans, with UKAD (UK Anti-doping Agency) stating that the lack of sanctions was due to either accidental intake or the player possessing a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Obtaining a TUE has sparked interest in other sports.

Wiggins’ TUE in his Tour de France victory has sparked much speculation, with the cyclist forced to defend himself on multiple times.

Former British Cycling head doctor Richard Freeman has later stated: “Unfortunately, on medical grounds, I would [act differently]. Now I would also advise him there’s a reputational risk here.”

When an athlete is informed that they have tested positive for drugs, they are urged to “promptly” undergo tests to check that a medical problem is not the cause of their failed drug test.

The Premier League was thought to be confident that all 12 ‘performance-enhancing’ cases had legitimate reasons, which is why no suspensions were imposed.

In the recent period, there have been very few incidents of players being banned for failing drug tests.

Rio Ferdinand, then of Manchester United, famously failed a drugs test in 2003 and was suspended for eight months as a result. 

Adrian Mutu, previously of Chelsea, tested positive for cocaine and was sentenced to nine months in prison.


15 Premier League players fail drugs tests as disturbing information emerges

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