The government has ordered that UK Anti-doping Agency be probed regarding the manner in which it handled an investigation about a British doctor and involved Premier League footballers and other top athletes.
As per the investigation done by Sunday Times, a private doctor based in London, Mark Bonar, puts sports stars on drug programmes at thousands of pounds.
The newspaper says that it filmed a claim by the medic secretly in which he says that he has prescribed drugs that enhance performance such as EPO, human growth hormone and steroids to 150 sports professionals from the United Kingdom as well as abroad for the 6 years that have passed.
The sports-persons come from:
- Tennis players
- British cyclists
- An England cricket international
- Numerous Premier League footballers
The Sunday Times has said that it lacks independent evidence that the doctor treated the players or any Premier League club has knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing.
In his defense, Bonar informed the Sunday Times that his purpose for treating the athletes was purely for medical reasons which could improve their performance. There is no evidence he used illegal substances.
Some of the athletes that the newspaper contacted refused to comment while others denied that Bonar treated them.
The government investigation stems from claims made by a whistleblower athlete who was banned for breaching anti-doping rules in 2014.
As per the newspaper, the anonymous sportsman approached Ukad with evidence that showed Bonar prescribed to him drugs that could enhance performance.
Ukad says it did begin an investigation into Bonar but found that he was outside of its jurisdiction as he was not governed by a sport, and decided not to pass the case to the General Medical Council (GMC) or to contact him.
In secrecy, the Sunday Times and an aspiring athlete recorded Bonar prescribing numerous prohibited drugs to the runner. It is alleged that Bonar proceeded to tell the athlete about other sportspeople that he had serviced.
The paper goes ahead to claim that as per GMC, Bonar is registered with no practicing license.
Ukad has informed BBC that it will carry out an independent review into the case.