England team doctor steps down in wake of Farah controversy
Written by Simon Austin — March 20, 2020
ENGLAND team doctor Rob Chakraverty has stepped down from his role after three-and-a-half years in order to “seek new challenges”.
Dr Chakraverty joined the Football Association in September 2016, but his position as Lead Men’s Performance Doctor had come under scrutiny in recent weeks following revelations about his time at UK Athletics, where he was Chief Medical Officer from 2013 to 2016.
On February 24th, BBC Panorama reported that the doctor had expressed reservations about possible "side effects" there could be from giving an infusion of the legal supplement L-Carnitine to Mo Farah before the 2014 London Marathon. However, he had gone ahead with the injections anyway and failed to record the levels.
In response, Chakraverty told Panorama: "I acknowledged to the (DCMS) inquiry (in 2017) that my usual standard of record-keeping slipped due to heavy work commitments and travel. I undertook a further update on good clinical record-keeping in response, in May 2018.”
Afterwards, FA chairman Greg Clarke admitted that “internal conversations" were ongoing about Chakraverty following the documentary. Now the doctor has decided to step aside and the FA said it expects to appoint a replacement "before the next England camp, whenever scheduled."
In a statement, Chakraverty said: "It has been a privilege to work as the lead doctor to the England men's senior team since joining the FA in 2016. The team and players have been wonderful to work with and the memories of what we achieved together at the World Cup two years ago will stay with me forever.
"The time is now right to step away from this role and seek new challenges, enabling my successor to establish themselves into the team before the next tournament.
"I would like to thank my colleagues and the players for their support and wish them every success in achieving their goals in the tournaments to come."
An FA spokesperson added: "We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Rob, not just for his part in the team's progress since 2016 but also in sharing his expertise across the wider medical department. We wish him every success for the future.
"A decision regarding his replacement will be made before the next England camp, whenever scheduled."
Chakraverty was criticised by former UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner at a parliamentary hearing in 2017 for "inexcusable" conduct over his failure to record the L-Carnitine injections given to Farah.
In response to BBC Panorama last month, Chakraverty said: "The evidence I provided to the DCMS select committee inquiry in April 2017 was a detailed and honest account.
"Following appropriate discussions and checks on the L-Carnitine supplement, including around safety and the Wada (World Anti-Doping Authority) dosage rules, 2.7grams of L-Carnitine was given intravenously - administered via four injections totalling 13.5ml (1 x 4.5ml and 3 x 3ml injections).
"This volume, as planned, was well below the 50ml permitted during a six-hour period. I have not contravened any Wada or UKAD rules and I have always acted in the best interests of those I treat.
"My due diligence checks were thorough - this is standard process, and was necessary as it was the first time I had been asked to administer L-Carnitine. I acknowledged to the inquiry that my usual standard of record-keeping slipped due to heavy work commitments and travel.
"I undertook a further update on good clinical record-keeping in response, in May 2018. The GMC (General Medical Council) reviewed this issue in 2018, and concluded that the case required no further action."