Dutch giants AFC Ajax have confirmed they will be appealing the 12-month ban slammed on their goalkeeper Andre Onana for doping violations.
The disciplinary body of the European Football Association( UEFA) on Friday announced a suspension of 12 months on Onana for a doping violation.
The 24-year-old goalkeeper failed an “out of competition” check on October 30 2020, testing positive for the substance Furosemide in his urine.
The suspension, according to UEFA, is effective from today (February 5, 2021) and applies to all football activities, both national and international.
In a swift reaction, Ajax in a statement confirmed they and the affected goalkeeper will be appealing against the one year ban.
The club claimed that on the morning of October 30, Onana was feeling unwell. He wanted to take a pill to ease the discomfort. Unknowingly, however, he took Lasimac, a drug that his wife had previously been prescribed.
“Onana’s confusion resulted in him mistakenly taking his wife’s medicine, ultimately causing this measure to be taken by UEFA against the goalkeeper.” the club said in its statement.
Ajax Managing director Edwin van der Sar, while expressly stating the club’s stand on doping, said Onana never intentionally spiked his system with drugs.
Van der sir said “We explicitly renounce performance-enhancing drugs, we obviously stand for a clean sport. This is a terrible setback, for Andre himself but certainly also for us as a club. Andre is a top goalkeeper, who has proven his worth for Ajax for years and is very popular with the fans.”
“We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these twelve months because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.
The goalkeeper also released a statement on Twitter where he disagreed with the UEFA ban. “I have to say that I respect the UEFA Appeals Body, but I do not share their decision in this case. I consider it excessive and disproportionate as it has been acknowledged by UEFA that it was an unintentional mistake.”
He added: “I will appeal the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to prove my innocence and clear my name.”
— Andre Onana (@AndreyOnana) February 5, 2021
Obviously, Onana’s suspension is a huge blow for Ajax, who have a busy schedule that includes matches in the Eredivisie, Cup and the Europa League. No dates have been set for the appeal before CAS.
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