By Abiola Olawale
Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper, Andre Onana has on Friday been handed a 12-month ban by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) after testing positive to an anti-doping test.
Onana who failed a doping test last October has been banned from participating in any football activities at both national and international levels by the Court Of Arbitration for Sport, UEFA. The ban is set to take effect immediately.
While reacting to the suspension, Onana took to his Twitter account to admit that he mistakenly took the drug prescribed for his girlfriend as an aspirin, when he was feeling unwell. He stated that he didn’t know the drug contained substance which has been banned by UEFA.
The statement reads, “Hello everyone. I wanted to inform you that the UEFA Appeals Body has imposed a 12-month ban on me with immediate effect, for having tested positive in an anti-doping control, carried out in October 2020. I just want to clarify that everything was the result of a human mistake. I mistook a medicine containing a substance banned by WADA for a simple aspirin. The medicine was prescribed to my girlfriend and I mistakenly took it for an aspirin because the packaging was almost identical, which I greatly regret. 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. Everyone knows that I lead a very healthy life and since I started my sporting career, I have always been strongly against any use of doping and I condemn any unsportsmanlike conduct, I am 24 years old and during my last few seasons I have been lucky enough to play almost every minute, both for Ajax and for my national team, being named the best goalkeeper in Holland for the last four years and in Africa for the last three years. I want to say that I have no need to resort to doping to further enhance my sporting career. I will appeal the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to prove my innocence and clear my name. I hope to be back on the pitch soon to do what I love and help my teammates. I would like to thank Ajax and the Cameroon national team for their support and confidence in me.”
Similarly, Ajax Football Club has expressed their dissatisfaction in the ban and said they would appeal the ruling.
The statement reads, “On the morning of 30 October, Onana did not feel well. He wanted to take a tablet. Unwittingly, however, he took Lasimac, a drug that his wife had previously been prescribed. Onana made a mistake with the product and mistakenly took his wife’s medicine, which ultimately led to UEFA’s action against the goalkeeper. The football association’s disciplinary body ruled that he did not intend to cheat. However, the European Football Association believes that according to the prevailing anti-doping rules, an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no prohibited substances enter the body.”
It would be recalled that Onana, 24, is a professional goalkeeper who plays for Ajax Football Club and Cameroon national team.