Footage of showing Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro receiving injections on the eve of a match has caused controversy in Italy.
The Italy international was with Parma when he was filmed being injected with a substance called Neoton, which is not on a banned list. The injection took place on the eve of the 1999 UEFA Cup final against Marseille.
Cannavaro’s team-mate Lilian Thuram, who was at Parma at the time, has defender his collleague.
“They are trying to taint a person,” Thuram told the club’s website.
“Everyone knows this substance is not illicit but from now on there will be cast some doubt.
“They are destroying football. The only reason for this is to increase audience figures and create doubt.”
Another former Parma player, Juan Sebastian Veron, has confirmed that he was present when the filming took place.
“You can see me, I was in the room,” Veron told an Argentine radio station. “But you can’t see that I did anything.”
Veron said Neoton use is common.
“It’s used when there are a lot of matches in a short space of time and it helps you recover more quickly,” he said.
“We had just played the final of the Italian Cup, I think it was two or three days earlier, plus there was the journey to Russia. Some players decided to make use of this, which is also something the doctor knows about.”
Veron added: “All the teams use it.
“It is something that is used and has been used and to do so is firstly a decision of the player and then the doctor.
“It doesn’t look good because you see when the doctor pricks his arm and it’s not something which is nice to see,” he admitted.
Also, the television puts on that background music and a whole ambiance which has nothing to do with it.”