I woke up this morning to the headline ‘Footballers ‘doped’ by London doctor’, but there is an undercurrent to this story that seems to have been largely overlooked, if not totally ignored.
The doctor in question is one Mark Bonar, who has been the subject of a Sunday Times investigation. I’ve had to use the BBC’s report as I don’t particularly want to pay a subscription for The Times and in any case what’s the point when their biggest stories get re-reported elsewhere?
Anyway, Bonar was secretly filmed claiming he’d prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to 150 athletes both in the UK and abroad over the past years. These athletes include a number of Premier League footballers, an England cricket player and tennis players.
Sensational stuff indeed – providing it is the truth.
Within the article the BBC make a passing mention to the fact he is facing a misconduct tribunal later this month unrelated to this apparent doping scandal.
A link to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service is provided outlining the details so I did a bit of further research (typed Mark Bonar into a search engine) and came across an article on that impending tribunal in The Mirror.
He is alleged to have hidden a patient’s terminal cancer so he could carry on charging her for treatments and to have informed her she was not eligible for NHS treatment as she was not a British citizen. Bonar denies all 16 allegations of misconduct – but what if they are true?
Granted, the two cases are unrelated aside from the fact Bonar is at the centre of both. But if these allegations are proven to be correct that would paint Bonar as an untrustworthy individual. A man whose testimony could not be taken at face value, regardless of the fact he was seemingly secretly filmed. If someone can lie to a woman dying of cancer about the severity of her disease he can probably lie to anyone, undercover journos included. The Sunday Times make a good argument and there is almost certainly weight behind the story but by the same token they have probably jumped the gun by publishing now rather than wait until after his misconduct tribunal. Maybe a rival was also aware of the story so they felt they had to run it, who knows.
If this doping story is on the money make no mistake it is huge – but before we go witch hunting for any of his former sporting patients/clients perhaps it might be better to wait and see just what kind of man Bonar is then re-evaluate the situation from there. The tribunal is set for April 11-16, so it isn’t like we’ve got too long to wait.
Dr Mark Bonar Update 12/7/2016
I’ve been keeping an eye out to try and find the result of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing but Bonar’s keeps getting put back. Currently he is on their calendar from today until Thursday (July 14th 2016) but this has happened before. As soon as something happens I will update again.
Update – The Guardian have written something along similar lines to this, only fancier and with more research.