Champions League

Real Madrid coach backs 'honest' Ramos

Sergio Ramos (Getty Images)
Sergio Ramos (Getty Images)

Rome - Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari defended captain Sergio Ramos on Monday after claims he gave an irregular doping sample after the Champions League final win over Juventus in 2017.

According to German magazine Der Spiegel, Ramos failed to declare he had taken dexamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory, ahead of the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, in which Real beat Juventus 4-1.

"Sergio Ramos is an honest man, a symbol not only of Real Madrid but of all Spanish football," Solari told a press conference ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

"It's the duty of everyone to defend him including the press whose objective is to search for the truth," he said.

"If we publish things which are not true, the profession of journalism loses its purpose."

Ramos, 32, has dismissed anti-doping allegations against him as a "lie" and a deliberate attempt to tarnish his reputation.

Both reigning three-time Champions League winners Real Madrid and Italian giants Roma are coming off defeats in their domestic leagues at the weekend.

The winner is likely to finish top of Group G and go through to the last 16.

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