Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won a defamation case against Ulf Karlsson, who was the head coach of Sweden's national athletics team from 2001 to 2004, who accused him of doping during his time at Juventus.
A district court in Varmland, in west-central Sweden, convicted Karlsson of defaming Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the comments made during the panel discussion. The verdict of the court reads the court finds that these remarks, even if his remarks do not contain a direct accusation that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had taken steroids, 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 former coach was however acquitted as more protection is offered to remarks made to journalists under Swedish law. Karlsson's attorney Johan Eriksson said he is glad the district court has agreed with him that he should not be convicted for what he has said to a journalist and added that is an important principle.
The former athletics coach was fined 24,000 kronor (£2,171) for his comments made during a panel discussion at a sports conference in April.
The former head coach of Sweden's national athletics team had remarked he believes the 34-year-old Ibrahimovic must have doped in order to bulk up so quickly at Juventus. Karlsson had commented that Zlatan gained 10 kilos of muscle in six months at Juventus and that is impossible in such a short time. Karlsson also told a local newspaper Nya Wermlands-Tidning that he is convinced that Ibrahimovic was doped.
The striker, who played for Juventus from 2004-06, filed the lawsuit against Karlsson even though he apologized. Zlatan has never tested positive for doping.
Considered as one of the best footballers of his generation and one of the best strikers in the game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was named the second-greatest Swedish sportsperson of all time, after tennis player Björn Borg by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in December 2014.
The Swedish professional footballer who now plays as a forward for Manchester United made his senior international debut in 2001 and served as captain from 2010 until he announced his retirement from international football in 2016. Best known for his technique and accurate striking ability, Ibrahimovic was named to the UEFA Team of the Year in both 2007 and 2009. In July 2012, the footballer joined Paris Saint-Germain and won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, three Coupes de la Ligue, two Coupes de France, and was the top scorer in Ligue 1 for three seasons. He became PSG's all time leading goal scorer in October 2015 and finished his PSG career with 156 goals in 180 competitive matches. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the Swedish all-time leading goal scorer with 62 goals and has made 100 or more appearances for the Swedish national team. Ibrahimovic won the prestigious Guldbollen (the Golden Ball), which is given to the Swedish player of the year, a record eleven times, including ten consecutive times from 2007 and 2016.
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