SAO PAULO - Former CSKA Moscow midfielder Daniel Carvalho on Monday apologized and retracted allegations he had to take anabolic steroids while playing for the Russian club early in his career.

Carvalho, now with Brazilian club Palmeiras, told a local radio station he was given anabolic steroids to improve his physical condition because he was "too skinny" when he arrived at the CSKA Moscow in 2003.

Hours later, after his interview made headlines across the world, Carvalho released a statement through Palmeiras saying he didn't know if the substance in the injections he received was actually steroids.

"I don't know if it was an anabolic steroid, I don't have the medical knowledge to know that," he said. "If it was, it's something that happened 10 years ago and it's in the past. If it wasn't, I apologize to the Russians for the badly used words."

The 28-year-old Brazilian also said in the statement that he was never forced to take anything against his will during his time with CSKA Moscow.

"I took the same food supplements that all other athletes took regularly," he said. "Nobody was forced to take anything."

Brazilian media reported the Russian club denied the accusations and called on Carvalho to explain why he made his comments.

An email message sent to CSKA Moscow by The Associated Press seeking comment was not immediately answered and calls to the team's press office were not returned late Monday.

Carvalho said in the interview with Radio Estadao/ESPN that it was "normal" for players to use steroids because there were no doping tests in Russia at the time.

At one point he mentioned Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato as examples of players who considerably improved their physical structure and became stronger after moving to European football, just as happened to him. But he did not accuse the players or their clubs of making use of anabolic steroids, and said that he could only talk about what happened in Russia, where he played.

He said the doctors at CSKA Moscow used "huge syringes" to make the injections that made him gain 8 kilograms (nearly 18 pounds) after only six months.

Carvalho said that at the time he didn't know what was being given to him, and that he stopped taking it when others said that the injections could damage his health.

"I stopped taking the injections when I found out that the substance went straight to the heart," he said in the statement.

Carvalho mentioned the steroids after being asked to comment on criticism he has received from Palmeiras fans for being overweight. He blamed the steroids for changing his physical structure and not allowing him to maintain his form more easily.

Carvalho moved to Russia after starring for Brazilian club Internacional as a teenager. He played a few matches with Brazil's national team in 2006, and after leaving CSKA Moscow he played in Qatar and for Brazil's Atletico Mineiro.

He joined Palmeiras a few weeks ago and played as a starter for the first time in the team's 1-1 draw with Catanduvendse on Sunday in the Sao Paulo state championship.


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