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Manuel Neuer checked for doping

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Word of Neuer’s unusual treatment brought him a visit from the Anti-Doping Agency in Bonn.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich gestures during a press conference at the Team's Headquarters in Munich, Germany, on September 11, 2017.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich is amused.
Photo by Andreas Gebert/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

An unusual scene at Säbener Straße: agents from Germany’s National Anti-Doping Agency (humorously abbreviated, NADA) paid a visit to Manuel Neuer, after a report about his unusual treatment caught the attention of officials (Abendzeitung).

Just this past Tuesday, Neuer ran on grass for the first time since his injury, taking two ten-minute jogs with trainer Thomas Wilhelmi on his 32nd birthday.

In order to support the healing process and stabilize the metatarsal bone in his foot, Neuer has been undergoing a special stem-cell therapy. As he explained on Bayern TV:

It wasn’t an autologous blood therapy, but actually a step-cell treatment that you take from the marrow of the iliac crest and then apply to the bone.

Neuer’s comments about treatment brought some unexpected scrutiny from the NADA officials in Bonn, who showed up at Säbener Straße unannounced soon afterward. As Neuer explained,

The funny thing was that . . . after the evening when it was reported, two or three hours later the doping anti-doping inspectors came by. That’s how it goes in Germany: something like that gets publicized and then a call comes from the headquarters in Bonn and then the inspectors come by. I was also surprised because otherwise a doping test never happens at that time.

Fortunately, and unsurprisingly, the NADA agents found precisely that: nada. As Manuel Neuer continues to work on his rehabilitation, he has not given up hope of playing for Bayern before the season’s end and traveling with the German national team to the World Cup.