By Chris Wright
One of the DFB’s anti-doping doctors has resigned from his post today over the furore caused when a leaked photo of Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng smoking a post-match cigarette was published in Bild earlier in the week.
The image shows Boateng sat on the dressing room sink at Bayer Leverkusen’s stadium, still dressed in his match kit and chuffing away on a cigarette while halfway through a bottle of lager as he waits to be tested by the DFB doctors following his side’s 2-1 victory a week a fortnight or so ago.
Schalke’s general manager, Horst Heldt, came out in defence of Boateng after Bild printed the controversial image – claiming that it is common practice for professional players to drink beer before doping tests to help them urinate, and that it is also well known within the club that Boateng likes to celebrate hard-fought victories with a relaxing cigarette.
The photo was submitted to Bild by an anonymous reader, but Leverkusen immediately denied they had anything to do with the leak – pointing out that the image was taken within a DFB-controlled area at their stadium.
Following an investigation into the breach, the DFB sussed that it was the doctor’s assistant who took the photo of Boateng and that he is to be held responsible for the private image being circulated.
Indeed, DFB’s media director Ralf Koettker informed SID (an AFP news subsidiary – apologies for all this bloody initialism!) thus:
“In a telephone conversation with Dr. Rainer Koch (one of the DFB’s anti-doping vice-presidents), the doping control doctor admitted the wrong doing of his assistant.
“He (Koch) asked the anti-doping commission chairman to release him from his duties.”
However, it might not be over yet as Schalke GM Heldt threatened legal action over the picture on Tuesday, claiming it was taken “in the player’s privacy” and that the club “fight with all means available [to] make an example” of whoever is responsible for the photo making its way into Bild’s hands.
We’ll keep you posted.
(Via The Score)