Arsenal have said their players will be “reminded of their responsibilities” after a string of first-teamers were pictured inhaling nitrous oxide, or “hippy crack”, in a London nightclub.
Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all pictured at the pre-season party, at which nitrous oxide was reportedly inhaled from balloons.
The Sun reported on Thursday night that boxes of “laughing gas” canisters were brought to the players in a private area of a West End nightclub in August. A club spokesperson said: “The players will be spoken to about this and reminded of their responsibilities as representatives of the club.”
Nitrous oxide has become increasingly popular with partygoers but doctors have warned of possible health risks. It can cause feelings of euphoria, hallucinations and fits of giggles and laughter.
Medical risks including passing out if too much nitrous oxide is taken, while drug information website Talk to Frank says people have died as a result of suffocating from a lack of oxygen.
It was reported on Thursday that footage showed Ozil, Aubameyang, Guendouzi and Lacazette all inhaling the gas.
The Arsenal players, if the claims are true, would not be the first to be seen using the gas.
Raheem Sterling was spotted inhaling “hippy crack” ahead of his move from Liverpool to Manchester City in 2015 and Kyle Walker apologised in 2013 after he was pictured taking nitrous oxide. Jack Grealish, the Aston Villa midfielder, was also embroiled in a storm over the gas in 2016.
Arsenal were last night unavailable for comment.