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Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic wins court battle over doping allegations

Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has secured victory in a libel case on over accusations he had used performance-enhancing substances. These stemmed from his time at Serie A side Juventus.

Ibrahimovic sued the former coach of Sweden's athletics team, Ulf Karlsson, over remarks made during a panel discussion in April. Karlsson said he believed Ibrahimovic could have used performance-enhancing drugs when he gained 10 kilograms (22 pounts) of muscle mass in a six-month period during his time at Italian side Juventus (2004-2006).

A Swedish court ruled that Ibrahimovic, now at Manchester United, had been subjected to slander and fined Karlsson 24,000 kronor ($2,640, 2,500 euros).

"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, cannot 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.

Karlsson was, however, not convicted for a quote he gave to a local reporter after the debate and was not ordered to pay the footballer's court costs.

Ibrahimovic, who did not appear at the hearing, has never tested positive for doping in a career that has also seen him turn out for Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

rt/pfd (DPA, AFP, Reuters)

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