LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he is confident there is no doping in English football but would be happy to discuss the issue with authorities.
Wenger was speaking after UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) said it would “value the opportunity” to talk to the Frenchman, who last year criticised UEFA’s stance on doping.
Wenger, 66, said: “I am sure that not one club in England is trying to dope its players. I am absolutely 100pc convinced that nobody tries to do that as a club.”
Asked about the possibility of talks with UKAD chief Nicole Sapstead, he added: “I have more desire than time but I am always happy to help if I can. In football we look like we want to tackle the problem now but for a long period we didn’t.
“What is important is that we all try to show we don’t accept it. It is important to think that when a guy wins it is because he is the best, not because he has taken illegal substances.”
In November, he criticised the European governing body’s regulations after Dinamo Zagreb’s Arijan Ademi was banned for four years for failing a test after his side’s Champions League win over Arsenal in September.
Wenger was annoyed the result was not overturned and Dinamo were not expelled from the competition.
Earlier this week Sapstead, said it would be “foolish” to assume that football was immune from doping.
“I think it’s foolish for any sport to think that they’re immune from doping, I really do,” Sapstead said.
“You’ve got a sport that commands huge salaries – players command huge salaries – there’s huge television rights. There’s a lot to be gained from doping, irrespective of looking at the physiological requirements of the game itself.
“Look at how the game is played, the recovery rate with injuries. Football, tennis, other sports: something doesn’t feel right.”