Sergio Ramos is no stranger to controversy and headlines for the wrong reasons but apparently this time he has broken football doping laws and finds himself amidst what could develop to a scandal while his club Real Madrid and UEFA are accused of covering it up.
German publication Der Spiegel – in their report , released as part of their Football Leaks series – claimed Ramos failed to declare he had taken dexamethasone ahead of the Cardiff final, in which Real beat Juventus 4-1.
Firstly , lets clear the facts about the drug in question – dexamethasone.
What is dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid. It is used to treat a number of conditions but in a sporting context is mainly used as anti-inflammatory that also relieves pain. The report in Der Spiegel adds that dexamethasone can “improve cognition and concentration and can have a euphoric effect.”
Is it on the WADA banned list?
Yes. Dexamethasone is banned in competition.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes. While dexamethasone is banned in competition (during matches), it can be administered before matches but any usage in a seven-day period prior to a test must be declared during doping control.
However, Real released a statement on Friday, in which they denied the claims.
The statement read: “In relation to the information published by Der Spiegel referring to our captain Sergio Ramos, the club states the following:
1. Sergio Ramos has never breached the 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 of the World Anti-Doping Agency, AMA, and of UEFA itself.
3. Regarding the rest of the content of the aforementioned publication, the club does not pronounce itself before the evidence of its insubstantial nature.”
Der Spiegel claims Ramos and the Real Madrid team doctor instead registered betamethasone, another glucocorticoid on WADA´s banned list.
However, the German magazine also reports that UEFA were satisfied the mistake was an administrative error and took no disciplinary action.
While, UEFA denies any negligence or malpractice from their side and has given official statements regarding the same, the incident could be scrutinized by WADA and/or FIFA to and be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if the entities choose to do so.