Doping: German journalists expose doctor linked to Brazilian football stars

Dr. Mohammed Barakat associates himself with some of the biggest names in South American football. But a new documentary suggests the celebrity doctor has few qualms about prescribing banned substances to athletes.

A team of investigative journalists from Germany have revealed that they received doping substances from a celebrity doctor in Brazil associated with some of South America's most famous footballers.

The team from German public broadcaster ARD showed evidence of the meeting with Dr. Mohammed Barakat in a documentary aired on Sunday evening.

The film shows Barakat prescribing banned substance Anastrozol to an undercover journalist pretending to be an athlete during their first meeting. Barakat also puts him in contact with a drug dealer who offers the journalist multiple banned steroids, including nandrolone, testosterone and oxandrolone.

"Hormones are the elixir of life," Barakat tells the journalist. "You're going to take flight and your condition will improve dramatically."

Read more: How clean is Russian football?

Links to football stars

During the documentary, a top athlete speaking on the condition of anonymity says Barakat works with anyone willing to pay for his treatment. "I know that he has worked with a lot of people in the footballing world," he says.

Barakat is famous in Brazil and has more than a million followers on Instagram. He has published photos on the social media platform of himself aside multiple footballing stars, including former Brazil national players Kaka, Rivaldo and Nilmar.

The ARD team could not verify whether Barakat had treated those players, but Barakat acknowledged that he gave Paolo Guerrero, a former Bayern Munich player who most recently captained the Peruvian national team at the World Cup, an unspecified treatment in 2013. Guerrero, who has previously tested positive for cocaine, did not respond to an ARD request to comment.

In an Instagram post, Barakat wrote that the injured Guerrero would "fly over the pitch" after receiving the treatment.

Read more: Doping in football? Don't act so surprised

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Ben Johnson
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Alex Rodriguez
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Jan Ullrich
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Lance Armstrong
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'Breakfast, lunch, dinner'

Brazilian football is no stranger to doping. The country most recently registered the highest number of football-related doping incidents worldwide, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Barakat is being investigated by Brazil's medical council over previous doping allegations. He has also been filmed prescribing banned substances before. A Brazilian investigative journalist gave ARD a 2013 undercover recording showing Barakat prescribing him growth hormones.

"Take this three times a day," he says in the recording. "Breakfast, lunch, dinner; breakfast, lunch, dinner."

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Date 02.07.2018
Author Alexander Pearson