Ibrahimovic wins doping libel case against Swedish coach

Ibrahimovic wins doping libel case against Swedish coach
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 27, 2016. Oli SCARFF / AFP

A Swedish court found former national track and field team manager Ulf Karlsson guilty of aggravated libel against Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Monday for suggesting he used performance-enhancing substances.

The district court in Karlstad ordered Karlsson to pay a fine of 24,000 Swedish crowns for comments, at an April 2016 panel discussion, about what he called a sudden weight gain by the 35-year-old, who is Sweden’s top goalscorer.

Subsequent remarks Karlsson made to a Swedish journalist were not found to be libellous as they fell under laws governing freedom of the press, the court decided.

“The court’s opinion is that in the context of what was said Ulf Karlsson gave the impression that Zlatan was doping during his time at (Italian club) Juventus.”

“He (Ulf Karlsson) if found guilty for statements he made during the panel debate and we believe that the context in which the statements were made they were to be judged as slander.

“When it comes to the second part – the comments made to a journalist afterwards – then, according to the freedom of the press rules, everyone has the right to talk to a journalist if the purpose is to make something public, like in this case with the purpose of getting information into a newspaper,” the Swedish court said in its ruling.

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