Arsenal, Chelsea and Premier League leaders Leicester have all strongly denied links with a London-based doctor who claims to have provided banned drugs to more than 150 British sportspeople.
The Sunday Times reported claims by Dr Mark Bonar that footballers were among a client list that also included an England cricketer, leading cyclists, boxers and tennis players.
A spokesperson for Arsenal said they were “extremely disappointed” at the publication of the allegations, which they said were “without foundation”.
Chelsea also called the claims “false and entirely without foundation”, while Leicester said the suggestions were “unsubstantiated” and should not have been published.
Championship club Birmingham City, who were also mentioned by Dr Bonar in the recordings made by undercover reporters, said they had not engaged Bonar and had no record of any of their players dong so.
Bonar claimed that blood-booster EPO, human growth hormone and steroids were among the banned substances he had prescribed for sporting clients over a period of six years.
The Sunday Times said it had no independent evidence to corroborate Bonar’s allegations of links to players from the four football clubs.
Culture, Media and Sport Secretary John Whittingdale said the government had ordered an investigation into UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) handling of allegations against Bonar.
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said they had looked into Bonar two years ago but had been unable to act as the doctor was not affiliated to a specific sport. UKAD decided there was insufficient evidence to refer the claims against Bonar to the General Medical Council, she added.
Arsenal added: “Our players are well aware what is expected. We strictly adhere to all guidelines set by the World Anti-Doping Agency and our first-team players participate in approximately 50 random drugs tests during each season. Noe of our players has ever failed such a test.”
“Chelsea has never used the services of Bonar and has no knowledge or record of any of our players having been treated by him or having used his services,” the west London club said. “We take the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in sport extremely seriously and comply fully with all anti-doping rules and regulations. Chelsea players are regularly and rigorously tested by the relevant authorities.”
Leicester said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Sunday Times has published unsubstantiated allegations referring to players from clubs including Leicester City when, on its own admission, it has insufficient evidence to support the claims.”
Birmingham said: “The club have not used the services of Mark Bonar and has no knowledge or record of any of our players, past or present, doing so.”