Football: British anti-doping chief seeks Arsene Wenger's views on fight against drugs

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) chief Nicole Sapstead has said she would like the chance to speak to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about his views on the use of banned substances in football.

The Frenchman has long been an outspoken advocate of a stronger anti-doping regime and state-of-the-art testing in the game, saying that clubs as well as players should be punished for infractions.

"I will attempt to engage with him," Sapstead told the BBC. "I would be interested to speak with him to hear what he has got to say. Whether he would engage with us is another question."

Although, on the surface, doping has not been a major problem in football as it has been for sports like athletics and cycling, Sapstead thinks it could be at risk.

"When you're looking at a sport like football that commands the sort of salaries that the players can command, its fan base, its ticket sales, its broadcasting rights - if that isn't a risk then I don't know what is, notwithstanding the physical demands of the sport itself," she said.

"Add that into a nice big mix and you've got everything pointing to a doping issue."

Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi was banned for four years after he failed a drug test following a Champions League match with Wenger's team in September.