British newspaper the Daily Mail has agreed to pay financial compensation to Brazilian football legend Roberto Carlos for wrongly accusing him of doping violations.
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In June 2017, the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline published an article claiming that Carlos had taken prohibited performance-enhancing drugs throughout his professional career, including during the 2002 World Cup which was won by Brazil.
The former Real Madrid star, who viewed the groundless allegations as doing severe damage to his reputation, opened legal proceedings against the outlet last week, filing a lawsuit at London’s High Court.
“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. It is, moreover, an allegation against him that is completely false and unfounded,” said Carlos’ lawyer Andy Lee.
“For his part Mr Carlos does not know and has never met the Brazilian doctor who was named in the articles as having supposedly administered performance enhancing drugs to him,” he added.
The Mail on Sunday apologized to the Brazilian icon, acknowledging that it had wrongly accused the former defender of violating doping rules. The outlet agreed to pay damages to Carlos for “the distress and embarrassment” caused by the article, claiming that the allegations had been made based on a German TV documentary.
“Our report on June 10 last year about claims made by a German TV documentary wrongly accused football legend Roberto Carlos of using banned performance-enhancing drugs, including when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup,” the outlet said in statement.
“We accept this allegation is untrue and apologize for the distress and embarrassment caused to Mr Carlos and have agreed to pay him substantial damages and costs.”