Monday 21 October 2019

Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos wins substantial libel damages from the Daily Mail over drugs claims

Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos

Jan Colley

Brazilian football star Roberto Carlos has accepted substantial libel damages over a claim that he used banned drugs to cheat.

Mr Carlos, 45, who played in the 2002 World Cup-winning side and works as an international director of Real Madrid, brought proceedings against Associated Newspapers at London's High Court.

His solicitor Andy Lee told Mr Justice Warby on Thursday that he had complained about an article which appeared in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline in June 2017.

Mr Lee said that Associated conceded that what they had published had carried the extremely serious defamatory meaning that Mr Carlos had used banned performance enhancing drugs during his distinguished career - including in 2002 around the time his team won the World Cup.

He 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.

"It is, moreover, an allegation against him that is completely false and unfounded.

"It is not true that Mr Carlos used banned drugs to cheat, as (Associated Newspapers) now acknowledges without reservation.

"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."

Mr Lee said that the "highly damaging and untrue" allegation had caused very serious harm to Mr Carlos's reputation and had caused him very deep distress and embarrassment.

He added that Associated had made an unqualified offer of amends, offering to publish a correction and apology.

It had also agreed to pay him "substantial" damages and his legal costs.

Solicitor Matthew Dando said that Associated Newspapers accepted that the allegation that Mr Carlos took performance enhancing drugs was untrue and wished to offer its apologies for the embarrassment and distress caused.

Mr Carlos was not in court.

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