Real Madrid have come out and defended thier captain Sergio Ramos. They say that he has "never breached anti-doping control regulations", concerning the allegations made by Der Spiegel newspaper.
The German publication made a series of claims, which suggested that the Spain international had broken anti-doping protocol twice.
The first related to an alleged post-match mix-up following the Champions League final against Juventus in 2017. Der Spiegel claims that traces of a forbidden substance were found in his sample.
Madrid swiftly issued a response, in which they stated:
1. Sergio Ramos has never breached anti-doping control regulations.
2. UEFA requested timely information and closed the matter immediately, as is usual in these cases, after verification by the experts themselves from the World Anti-Doping Agency, AMA, and UEFA itself.
3. Regarding the rest of the content from the aforementioned publication, the club does not pronounce itself before the evidence of its insubstantial nature.
— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) November 23, 2018
What was the mix-up?
The mix-up is reported to have occurred after a Madrid doctor allegedly filled in a doping form incorrectly relating to a drug administered to Ramos before the game against Juve. Ramos was given dexamethasone to treat his knee and shoulder injuries, but betamethasone was recorded on the form instead.
Both the anti-inflammatory drugs are permitted under the WADA rules, only if they are declared by doctors post-match.
The German publication also claims that UEFA was aware of the mistake, yet did not take any further action. It is because they were satisfied it was an administrative error.
In a statement, UEFA "strongly and categorically refuted unfounded allegations it has covered up positive doping results".
The statement added: "All UEFA doping control cases are conducted in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
"UEFA has informed both WADA and FIFA of all such cases as required by the WADA Code and UEFA has provided all detailed information, expert reports, and evidence during the handling of such cases.
"It must be underlined that both WADA and FIFA have the right to appeal any decision taken by UEFA on doping control matters to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"However, neither WADA nor FIFA did lodge any such appeal to CAS and WADA itself has officially confirmed that everything was dealt with appropriately by UEFA and in accordance with the Code."
The second claim alleges Ramos knowingly broke anti-doping rules by showering before providing a sample after a league game in April 2018 against Malaga.
The newspaper says AEPSAD, the Spanish anti-doping agency handled the case.