In an interview with Die Zeit (via ESPN), Bayern Munich and German National team doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt continued his feud with ex Bayern manager Pep Guardiola. This time around, Muller-Wohlfahrt brought up the topic of doping; in particular, he paralleled Guardiola’s insistent pressure to rush injured players back into training before their injuries properly healed.
When asked about his opinion on performance enhancing drugs, Muller-Wohlfahrt suggested that such drugs are counter-intuitive and denied the existence of doping in football:
No, [I’ve never seen PED’s] at Bayern or the national team. It would make no sense to bulk up in football—the muscles would become too heavy. They’d lose elasticity. If a player were to take stimulants, his batteries would be empty after that and he would experience a drop in performance in the following match. As far as I can oversee it, there is no doping in football.
Muller-Wohlfahrt then went on to describe how frustrated he was with the way Guardiola pressured injured players to return to training too quickly:
I had been at Bayern for 38 years without any problems. And suddenly a 44-year-old coach joins, someone who has not walked this earth for much longer than I had been Bayern team doc, someone who knows everything, who suddenly puts pressure on and accuses me that an injury layoff after a severe ligament injury takes six to seven weeks rather than four weeks like in Spain.
Some speculate that doctors in Spain may use (questionable) alternative treatments to help rehab injured players at a quicker rate, but Muller-Wohlfahrt said he doesn’t know much about it.
Muller-Wohlfahrt also recalled the situation when Thiago sustained a knee ligament injury in the 2013/2014 season, was rushed back to training by Guardiola, and went on to rupture that ligament, keeping him sidelined for nearly twelve months:
Thiago [Alcantara] once returned from Spain after four weeks, seemingly fit. But when I examined him, I said: “Stop! The injury has not healed completely, even though you are pain-free.” Guardiola still allowed him to train. Thiago got injured again and went on to miss a full year.
Ironically enough, Muller-Wohlfahrt’s comments come just after Jerome Boateng, Arjen Robben, and Javi Martinez exited the match early on Wednesday against Real Madrid through injury. Boateng is set to miss the rest of the season. Robben has had an MRI, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to play again this season. With Muller-Wohlfahrt overseeing their injuries, though, we can be sure that they’ll both return to action only when they have fully recovered.