Eamon Dunphy has insisted that doping is a problem in the modern game and one that officialdom is guilty of turning a blind eye to.
A Sunday Times report alleged that doctor Mark Bonar had secretly been filmed talking about how he had prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, including footballers at Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester.
Bonar subsequently took to Twitter, refuting the newspaper’s claims as “false and very misleading”.
Weighing in on the debate on the use of illicit drugs in soccer, Dunphy told listeners of 2FM’s Game On: “I think there’s been doping in soccer for a long time.
“I think it was happening in Italy, I think it happened in Spain, I think it happened in England.
“I think the authorities don’t want to find it.”
The veteran pundit believes that doping in soccer hasn’t been scrutinised in the same way as other sports that have been blighted by drug use, but that a major controversy is inevitable, if not imminent.
“The idea that’s in other sports like cycling - you have to dope because everyone else is doping - that’s not quite as pervasive in soccer because we haven’t had a scandal, but there’s one out there waiting to happen,” he added.
Dunphy also believes that players have shirked their personal responsibility on the issue.
“I think what happens is very simple,” he said. “I think the players are given supplements to take. I don’t think they know what’s in them. In fact, I spoke to one household name in England and he said he doesn’t know what he’s taking, what he’s drinking, and I said ‘why don’t you find out?’ He said ‘I don’t want to know’.
“But you can look at the body shapes of some players and you can see it.”
“It could be a car crash” Eamon Dunphy on the appointment of Antonio Conte at Chelsea
Antonio Conte conquered all before him with Juventus in his native Italy and guides the international side he appeared for on 20 occasions into action at Euro 2016, but Dunphy believes he faces an onerous task after being appointed to manage Chelsea next season.
“There’s a risk involved, a big risk, really,” the former Millwall stalwart opined.
“He needs players. Chelsea need players badly. That’s one risk.
He’s got to get used to the Premier League, which is a real challenge for foreign coaches and I think the expectations that [Roman] Abramovich had are unreal. So I think it’s a risky appointment to a league he doesn’t really know.
“He has a good record with Juventus as a player - he was a very, very good player - and of course as a coach he won Serie A three times.
“He can do the job in Italy. Doing the job in the Premier League is different. And doing a job where the owner may have finished opening the chequebook - which would be my suspicion - and would think that he has the young players to create a team like Barcelona, which was the promise made by [Jose] Mourinho to him when he signed up three years ago, I think Conte is facing a massive challenge.”
The Drumcondra native expanded on the ramifications a lack of talented personnel could have on Chelsea’s future and on Conte’s tenure in the Stamford Bridge hot seat, saying: “No coach can overcome the handicap of not having quality players in his squad if you are to meet the expectations of Abramovich and Chelsea Football Club as they have been in the last decade.
“You need your Frank Lampards, your [Didier] Drogbas, the John Terrys, the real quality players.
“They’re not at Chelsea at the moment. They don’t have quality, they don’t have experience either.
“Gary Cahill isn’t going to lead them to glory!
“So I think Conte, I don’t think he will have the call on players because Mourinho didn’t have it, this owner has a track record for interfering and gifting players to his coach.
“It could be a car crash.”