Sydney FC striker Alessandro Del Piero says the ‘serious problem’ of doping in sport is a worldwide issue, and hopes it is not widespread in Australia.
The Italian superstar expected to be asked some questions relating to the recent doping revelations when he spoke to journalists on Friday, especially given his background on the topic.
Del Piero was at Juventus when the club’s doctor, Riccardo Agricola, was jailed for supplying players with performance-enhancing drugs, including the banned blood-boosting hormone erythropoietin (EPO), between 1994 and 1998.
Del Piero was reluctant to discuss the Australian Crime Commission’s report that has found several athletes across different sports using banned drugs but said more needed to be done to stamp out the practice.
“It’s not a good thing,” Del Piero said on Friday.
“I hope everything (is) good and nothing more than this, but I don’t know the situation.
“I don’t know what is the level of the doping. It’s just the start (of) the situation now, I don’t know really what happened (in the past).”
The Italian overcame Juve’s doping scandal and regards the Sky Blues’ battle to make the top six in the A-League as just another challenge in his footballing career.
Sydney play Brisbane Roar on Sunday at Allianz Stadium in what is another must-win match.
“It’s very big for us the next game, but the last five, six games and the next until the end – every game is like a final for us,” Del Piero said.
“We have to fix what is good (and) what is not, we have to follow the road with Frank (Farina) the last two months,” he said.
“We have to approach the game like a final.”
Del Piero became just the second Sydney FC player to score 10 goals in a season when he found the net against Newcastle last weekend and now has the opportunity to break that club record.