Manchester United legend Harry Gregg claims stimulants were being used in British football as far back as the 1960s.
The former goalkeeper has told BBC One's Real Story programme that he took the amphetamine dexadrin - more commonly known as speed - before every game.
"I don't know what the hell it was but if you played well you might take one next week," he said.
"I didn't know it was a drug. Touch wood it didn't do me any harm."
Gregg said he would have trouble sleeping after taking the pills, often remaining awake and alert into the early hours of the morning.
"There was an expression around the game at that time - you get pills to put you to sleep, you get pills to wake you up, you get pills to dry you out," said Gregg.
At the time Gregg was using the pills, there were no anti-doping laws in football.
And he claimed: "I know for a fact there were things taken at that time at other clubs.
"One famous international would put them on the towel in the dressing room and he would have two of them.
"He'd take one before the game. And if he wasn't playing as well as he thought he should be, he'd take the other one."