Borussia Dortmund hit out at media over low-carb diet reports
Borussia Dortmund have strongly rejected claims that a low-carb diet was a factor in May's DFB Pokal final defeat to Bayern Munich, describing the reports as a "fairytale."
There have been regular reports in the German media that Thomas Tuchel had ordered the players to heavily limit their carbohydrate intake after replacing Jurgen Klopp as Dortmund head coach last summer.
Tuchel confirmed last year that he had changed the players' diet while Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said after the coach's appointment: "Thomas has certain ideas on the training pitch and also off the pitch. He is very meticulous and extremely motivated. The diet is certainly an important factor."
The Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper had claimed that, when Dortmund lost the DFB Pokal final to Bayern on penalties in May, the players had been exhausted in the closing stages of the game because of the carbohydrate restriction.
The claims over the low-carb diet were repeated in a report in Bild at the weekend, and that has prompted Dortmund to issue a statement in which they said they would be "delighted if the low carb or no carb fairytale could end now."
Sascha Fligge, the club's media director, said: "Sadly, for a few months now, we have to read a hoax in several media outlets. The negative highlight: A Suddeutsche story claiming our cup final defeat could be down to the fact that some BVB players did not have enough energy because of a low-carb diet."
Fligge said BVB players are "not on a diet and nor do they follow the idea of a low-carb diet" and added: "We don't have a clue how you could come up with it.
"Our chef prepares normal meals for athletes. And carbs like potatoes, noodles or rice are part of it. After our recent friendly match at Oer-Erkenschwick for instance, goulash with mashed potatoes was served."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.