A Swedish court on Monday convicted a former national athletics coach of slandering football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic by suggesting he took steroids when he played for Italian club Juventus in 2004-2006.
During a public debate on doping in April, Ulf Karlsson hinted at drug use when he said the striker had “put on 10 kilos (22 pounds) of muscle mass ... in one year.”
Karlsson had pleaded innocent to slander, but the Karlstad court found in favour of Ibrahimovic, ruling that the remarks had been damaging to the player’s reputation.
Karlsson was ordered to pay a fine of 24,000 kronor (2,500 euros, $2,645).
“Even if his remarks do not contain a direct accusation that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had taken steroids, the court finds that these remarks, given the context in which they were made, can not be taken any other way than to give the impression that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have taken steroids during his time at Juventus,” the court wrote in its verdict.
Ibrahimovic, 35, also played for clubs including Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before joining Manchester United last July.