Wenger discusses doping and Spurs ground share idea

Date published: Thursday 21st January 2016 11:37

Arsene Wenger: Happy to speak to UKAD about doping

Arsene Wenger would be happy to help UK Anti-Doping but has dismissed the prospect of Arsenal ground-sharing with Tottenham.

The 66-year-old said in November that he believes football has a doping problem after athletics had been rocked by drugs scandals.

Wenger also claimed that European football’s governing body UEFA “basically accepts doping” after Arijan Ademi was banned for four years having failed a drugs test during Dinamo Zagreb’s Champions League victory over the Gunners.

Wenger’s comments came to the attention of UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead, who said on Wednesday she would like to speak to the Frenchman about his insights into doping in football and he now says he is happy to oblige.

“I have more desire than time, but I’m more than happy to help if I can in clarifying things for people who want to fight against doping,” Wenger  said.

“I’ve said what I have to say. In football, in our job, we look like we want to tackle the problem now. For a long period it looks to me like we didn’t.

“I am available. We have to tackle doping and fight against it, you and me. I am not thinking I can do more than people responsible to do that, but if they need to talk to me I’m available. What is important is we all have to show we don’t accept it.”

Wenger went on to echo his previous sentiments that he does not believe anyone in the British game is guilty of doping.

“No. I’m sure that not one club in England is trying to dope its players,” he added.

“I’m 100 per cent convinced that nobody in England is trying to do that.

“When a guy wins, we have to think it’s because he’s the best and not because he’s taking illegal substances. It’s a health issue as well. Sport, justice and health issue.”

Wenger on ground-sharing with Tottenham

At his press conference ahead of the Chelsea game, Wenger also said he saw no prospect of ground-sharing with local rivals Tottenham.

Chelsea and Spurs are looking to spend time at Wembley, with Stamford Bridge to be redeveloped and Tottenham’s new ground next to White Hart Lane forcing them away for the 2017-18 season.

Milton Keynes is also an option for Tottenham, but Wenger dismissed any suggestion it could be Arsenal who offer a temporary home to their north London neighbours.

“Not really,” he said when asked if Tottenham could play at Emirates Stadium.

“We suffered a lot to build this stadium and had to be very tight financially to pay it back. I don’t know, but I don’t feel it is in our plans to do it.

“We don’t need it and we have not been approached for it as well. It’s a board decision, not mine.”

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