Barcelona are planning to sue a Real Madrid fan website for publishing an article, accusing their top scorer and one of world’s best footballers Lionel Messi of doping.
The story headlined “Armstrong’s Tours and our future” has been posted on Defensacentral.com on Monday.
The authors of the piece drew parallels between the careers of Messi and US cyclist, Lance Armstrong.
The American has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after it was established he had been using forbidden substances for many years.
The publication hinted that Messi’s success came similarly, blaming the Argentine of doping but without any proof.
The article was deleted from the portal after several hours, but was noticed by the Spanish media and FC Barcelona management.
Messi scored 268 goals in 342 appearances for Barca, leading the Catalan club to five Spanish titles and three Champions League wins.
The 25-year-old has been crowned Footballer of the Year three times, while Real’s hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, is still lacking the FIFA Ballon d'Or in his trophy cabinet.