Dr. Mark Bonar, who was secretly filmed two years ago by The Sunday Times claiming that Premier League footballers were among the 150 elite athletes to whom he prescribed banned drugs, has been struck off the medical register.
Dr. Bonar was found guilty of misconduct at a tribunal last week, ruling that Dr. Bonar showed a "reckless disregard for patient safety” and brought “the reputation of the entire profession into disrepute".
Having been filmed by The Sunday Times claiming that he used banned substances, such as erythropoietin, steroids and human growth hormone and claimed his network of secret “clients” included Premier League footballers, an England cricketer, British Tour de France cyclists and a British boxing champion. The Sunday Times revealed that Dr. Bonar charged athletes thousands of pounds for the use of these illicit substances.
In light of the revelations, The Sunday Times passed on their findings to the General Medical Council, which resulted in the tribunal.
The full results of the tribunal are available to read here, and make for interesting reading.
Dr. Bonar did not attend the tribunal: he now lives abroad and says he has retired from medical practice.
The tribunal revealed that, in 2015, The Sunday Times was approached by a British athlete who claimed that he had sent UK Anti-Doping information about doping in British sport. The athlete named Dr. Bonar to UKAD, but they did not take any action against him. The Sunday Times then set about investigating Dr. Bonar, and secretly filmed him by arranging a meeting between the Doctor and an aspiring Olympic athlete [referred to as Patient A throughout the tribunal].
The results of the tribunal by the General Medical Council found that Dr. Bonar advised the undercover athlete he could improve his athletic performance by taking testosterone and human growth hormone supplements. Dr. Bonar said in his defence that he did not intend to prescribe these drugs to aid his athletic performance, saying that the substances were offered to aid "‘debilitating symptoms which were causing him significant psychological and physical morbidly [sic] so that he could compete again on a level playing field".
The Medical Council "was not satisfied" with this explanation, as "Dr. Bonar made clear that the programme of testosterone and growth hormone could improve Patient A’s performance, strength, endurance, and stamina".
Dr. Bonar denied prescribing these substances to other athletes, although did not deny offering them to Patient A, saying that:
I deeply regret some of the ill-advised grandiose statements made by me on camera such as this statement but there was no substance of truth behind it at all and I was simply ‘over-egging’ my practice.