Panic in former Italian soccer players to the consequences of doping in the 90s

«I am afraid of ending up like Vialli and Mihajlovic. It is necessary to investigate what we took in the past. There could be many sick people. At that time we took many supplements that were not controlled like today. What do we know about its long-term consequences? Also herbicides and other substances spread on the lawn may have done damage. With some anguish and concern, he made this statement to the newspaper ‘La Stampa’ Dino Baggio, 51 years old, an excellent midfielder in the 1990s, who was international with Italy and played in the final of the World Cup in the United States in 1994, with a long career in the Torino, Inter, Juventus, Parma and Lazio. Baggio’s surprising statement came when the consternation in the world of football over the death of Gianluca Vialli, due to pancreatic cancer, on January 6, at the age of 58, and that of Siniša Mihajlović, who he lost his battle with leukemia at age 53 and died on December 31. In recent days, similar statements have been made by other former players. In an interview on ‘Tv7’, Dino Baggio mixed words like ‘doping’ in one sentence with an admired character, Gianluca Vialli, who was his teammate at Juventus. For this reason, Baggio later clarified his words in an interview with ‘Stampa’: «They misunderstood me and I’m very sorry. I meant exactly the opposite: anti-doping already existed in my time. They checked us every three days, it would not have made sense to dope to be suspended. When asked about the substances that he was taking and that now scare him, the former player explains: “There are products that speed up recovery times in sports and help performance. I’m talking about lawful things, of course. For example, Polase comes to mind” (brand one of the well-known mineral salt supplements). When ‘La Stampa’ specified that “Polase circulates in all gyms and sports fields, if that supplement were responsible it would be a big problem”, Dino Baggio replied: “We have consumed many of them without fully knowing the long-term consequences «. In Italy many today remember a famous and controversial video from 1999 of the international Fabio Cannavaro, then a Parma player, and later Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid, with the drop by drop. “It was water and glucose,” Dino Baggio clarifies. Everything is legitimate, but scientific proof would be needed that it does not hurt after a while. Related News Standard doping Yes The chain of custody: the door that lets doping cases that reach the Litigation Isabel Vega escape Five athletes who tested positive went unpunished for irregularities in the control or transport of samples Several former players have joined in recent days to Baggio’s fears, which has caused some alarm. Massimo Brambati, former defender of Bari, Empoli and Torino, current television commentator, has declared: “I am also afraid. Twenty years ago, when I spoke, I received a letter from the Football Federation, threatening me. I, in a club whose name I will not say, took Micoren before the game as if they were sweets. At that time it was not prohibited, after a few years it was totally prohibited. He also took Anemina, a substance with which he did not feel tired, but his heart beat faster and his reflexes were faster ». Likewise, the Romanian Florin Raducioiu, a former striker for Bari, Verona, Brescia and Milan, expresses his fears about the substances that doctors made players take in the 1990s. “I was dripping a pink liquid,” confesses Raducioiu -. I admit, I also took some drugs. Now I will call the doctor who followed us in Brescia to find out more details about the medicines he was taking ». It’s not just former players who express concerns. Recently, after the death of Sinisa Mihajlovic, Lazio president Claudio Lotito said: “We need to investigate some diseases that could be linked to the type of stress and treatments that players were given at that time.” It is worth noting the Juventus doping trial, also a very controversial case, always remembered. The alleged administration of illegal drugs between 1994 and 1998 to Juventus players had at the center of the process, in addition to the Vecchia Signora, Dr. Riccardo Agricola, team doctor between 1985 and 2009. Among the substances cited was erythropoietin ( Epo), a drug that acts on the blood. The investigation was opened by the prosecutor Guariniello, in 1998 after the statements by the Czech Zdenek Zeman to the weekly ‘L’Espresso’, in which the then coach of Roma assured that Italian football had to “get out of pharmacies”. In 2002, the former health director of the Juventus club was sentenced in the first instance to one year and ten months for “administration of Epo and medicinal specialties other than those declared”, while the then Juventus general director, Antonio Giraudo, was acquitted. In 2005, the first degree sentence was annulled in the appeal court with the acquittal of Dr. Agricola. Ultimately, the Supreme Court overturned the acquittal, arguing that the allegations of excessive drug supply could be considered a violation of the 1989 law on sports fraud, but the offense was considered time-barred. Zdenek Zeman once again launched a harsh attack on Juventus and other teams, without mentioning them, in 2018, in an interview with ‘Corriere dello Sport’: «The doping problem has existed and will always exist. The question is how much will be revealed? I just hope young players realize how badly they can end. Juventus was certainly not the only one to use prohibited substances: Creatine, EPO, steroids… Drugs do not belong in sport. I denounced him for football.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *