EPL players prescribed banned drugs, claims report

In an undercover operation undertaken by the Sunday Times, a doctor claims to have had a network of "secret clients" who are prescribed banned performance-enhancing drugs, which included footballers from Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City.

According to the report, Mark Bonar had also worked with an England cricketer, British Tour de France cyclists, a British boxing champion, tennis players and martial arts competitors, besides players from the English Premier League.   -  AP (Representational image)

Premier League footballers were among 150 sports stars prescribed banned performance-enhancing drugs, a British doctor was claimed as saying by the Sunday Times.

The newspaper, which has been at the heart of a number of doping exposes involving international athletics over the last 12 months, claimed London-based anti-ageing doctor Mark Bonar has been under suspicion for two years. In an undercover operation, the 38-year-old doctor claims to have had a network of "secret clients" which included footballers from Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City.

Despite Bonar's claims, the newspaper was quick to add they have no independent evidence that he treated the players, none of whom are named in the report. There is also no evidence the clubs were aware of Bonar's relationship with any players or drug use by them.

Bonar, who was filmed covertly, is heard telling reporters that he had also worked with an England cricketer, British Tour de France cyclists, a British boxing champion, tennis players and martial arts competitors.

> Watch: Journalists to protect names of alleged dopers - Seppelt

"In the past six years he has treated more than 150 sports people from the UK and abroad variously with banned substances such as erythropoietin (EPO), steroids and human growth hormone, and the sports performance improvements were phenomenal," the report said.

In a bizarre sub-plot, Bonar also claims to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to two professional ballroom dancers on a television celebrity dance show. Bonar told the reporters that athletes knew about his services through word of mouth.

"I don't really advertise...I don't want that media scrutiny that kind of (thing), you know, coming down on you," he said.