Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday parent Associated Newspapers has today apologised and agreed to pay damages to former Brazil and Real Madrid footballing legend Roberto Carlos after making claims he had used performance enhancing drugs.
The Mail published an apology today and is set to make a statement in court apologising to Carlos and agreeing to pay him “substantial damages”.
Carlos issued libel proceedings after the Mail on Sunday published a piece with the headline “Brazil legend Roberto Carlos in drugs storm” which reported on a documentary broadcast by German television network WDR that alleged that Carlos had been named as one of two Brazilian footballers who had taken performance enhancing drugs at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan which Brazil won.
The documentary said that Carlos had been administered the drugs by a Brazilian doctor who the article named.
Associated made no defence to Carlos libel proceedings, agreeing to publish a correction, an apology and pay compensation and legal costs.
Today Associated will make a statement in open court admitting that the allegation made was untrue and offering their apologies for the embarrassment and distress it had caused him.
Carlos said: “The allegations against me were completely false and unfounded. I have never used banned drugs to cheat as the newspaper has now acknowledged without reservation.”
Carlos was represented by law firm Brandsmiths which also acts for other sports stars including boxer David Haye.
One of its lawyers, Andy Leee, said: “It is hard to imagine a more serious allegation against any professional sportsman, let alone a sportsman of the international distinction and renown of Mr Carlos.”
Associated said: “Our report on 10 June last year about claims made by a German television documentary wrongly accused football legend Roberto Carlos of using banned performance-enhancing drugs, including when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup. We accept that this allegation is untrue and apologise for the distress and embarrassment caused to Mr. Carlos and have agreed to pay him substantial damages and costs.”
During his career Carlos was nicknamed El Hombre Bala (the Bullet Man) due to his powerful free kicks which have been measured at over 105 miles per hour.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan star was also known for his powerful thighs which measured 24 inches (61cm).
He made 575 club appearances scoring 65 goals during his career and also played for Brazil 125 times scoring 11 goals.