Ajax's Andre Onana banned for 12 months for doping violation

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It’s been a very bad week for Ajax.

Earlier this week, they made a huge gaffe by failing to register record signing Sébastien Haller in their Europa League squad.

Manager Erik ten Hag blamed it on a computer glitch.

“It is of course incredibly annoying,” Ten Hag said.

“Firstly for the player, but also for us. Of course, we didn’t sign him for nothing. Haller was indeed on the list, but it is an administrative error. Something went wrong with the computers, just a check mark on and off.”

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And now their week has got considerably worse.

That’s because goalkeeper Andre Onana has been banned for 12 months for a doping violation.

Following a routine check on October 30, 2020 the substance ‘Furosemide’ was found in his urine. Furosemide is a banned substance which, while isn’t performance-enhancing itself, is a drug that could remove the detection of performance-enhancing drugs.

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In an official statement, Ajax explained how he accidentally took his wife’s medication and the doping wasn’t intentional.

They wrote: “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. Furthermore, the disciplinary body of the football association has stated that Onana had no intention of cheating. However, the European Football Association believes, on the basis of the applicable anti-doping rules, that an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no banned substances enter the body.”

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The goalkeeper and the Dutch club will appeal the decision.

Managing director Edwin van der Sar added: “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.”

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