Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refuted Paul Merson’s claims of medical irregularities during their time together at the north London club.Merson left English Premier League team Arsenal for Middlesbrough at the end of the 1996/97 season.
Wenger had been appointed manager in September 1996 and Merson claimed he was injected with an unknown substance while playing for the Gunners.
But Wenger, who has led Arsenal to three Premier League title and four FA Cups during his reign, rejected Merson’s accusation.
“I cannot take that comment seriously,” Wenger said.
“I don’t know how many players have played here over 15 years, 200 maybe; some of them stayed for 10 years.”
“Paul Merson stayed with me for four months, so I think it is better you ask people who have played for five, six, seven, eight, nine years here how we behave medically.”
Former England international Merson, who was treated for alcohol and drug addiction before Wenger’s arrival at Arsenal, also claimed the French coach gave him a powerful caffeine tablet.
Once again, Wenger strenuously denied any allegations of improper conduct.
“I personally give them nothing,” Wenger said.
“If they don’t want to take anything, they take nothing.”
“If you find one player who I asked to take something, bring him here in front of me. If we give them something, it is multivitamins, magnesium, calcium or vitamin C like everybody else.”
“Every year we have at least 20 doping controls. In 15 years we have not had one positive control. You think, really, I try to dope?”
“If you find one player who I asked to take an injection to play one game, no matter how big the game was, I would resign on Saturday morning.”
“It is absolutely ridiculous to put any suspicion on the way we treat the players and respect the players’ health.”