Real Madrid have denied that club captain Sergio Ramos failed a doping test prior to the 2017 Champions League final.
A new report by Football Leaks, published by Der Spiegel on Friday, alleges that a urine sample given by the defender prior to the final against Juventus subsequently tested positive for dexamethasone, a banned substance.
Despite this positive test, which was discovered a month after the game in Cardiff, Wales, UEFA allegedly took no action against Real Madrid or Ramos himself.
In a statement released on Friday, however, the Blancos moved to deny any wrongdoing.
Their statement read: “In relation to the information published by Der Spiegel referring to our captain Sergio Ramos, the club states the following:
“Sergio Ramos has never breached anti-doping control regulations.
“UEFA requested timely information and closed the matter immediately, as is usual in these cases, after verification by the experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency, AMA, and of UEFA itself.
“Regarding the rest of the content of the aforementioned publication, the club will not address evidence of such an insubstantial nature.”
According to Der Spiegel‘s report, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules allow the administration of dexamethasone before matches, but must be reported by a team doctor during a doping test. If a player tests positive for dexamethasone and its use is not reported before a drug test, then it is considered a suspected case of doping and an investigation must be opened.
According to Der Spiegel, following Madrid’s 4-1 win over Juventus, Ramos was selected for a screening and spent nearly two hours giving a blood and urine sample, per UEFA’s report.
Madrid’s team doctor submitted the sample, allegedly failing to mention Ramos’ previous use of the banned substance.
However, UEFA’s anti-doping unit allegedly did not open an investigation, instead accepting a Madrid team doctor’s subsequent explanation that he had made an error in the report.
“In the future, we ask you and your team doctor to be utmost cautious when completing the doping control form and more precisely the declaration of medication,” a letter from UEFA to Madrid reportedly said in confirming that no investigation into the irregularity would be opened.
For its part, UEFA also released a statement on Friday denying the allegations.
“UEFA strongly rejects the unfounded accusations that it has concealed positive doping results, and all cases of UEFA doping control are carried out in accordance with the Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency,” the statement said.
“All the cases required by the WADA Code have shown that UEFA have provided all the detailed information, expert reports and evidence during the handling of such cases.”
Ramos is no stranger to controversy, which in 2018 has included his takedown of Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final that left the Liverpool star with a dislocated shoulder, and a recent incident in which he left a Viktoria Plzen player with a bloody nose.