By Mukwuzi Joseph
Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana’s year-long ban by UEFA for violating doping rules has been reduced to nine months after an appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in a statement on Thursday.
Traces of the banned substance Furosemide were found in the Cameroon international’s urine during an out-of-competition test on Oct. 30, Ajax said in February, leading to a year-long ban for the player from all football activities.
A panel of CAS arbitrators in charge of the matter partially upheld the player’s appeal and reduced his ban that commenced on Feb. 4, meaning he will now be eligible to play from Nov. 3.
“With this ruling by CAS, we have won 3 months, compared to the original verdict,” Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said. “Taking the case to CAS was not in vain. We want a clean sport but I repeat that we are convinced that Andre took this substance by accident, not to perform better. All parties agree to this, also UEFA.
“I have got mixed feelings with this outcome of today, because our goal was for Onana to participate in games from this summer.”
Onana had said the violation was the result of a mistake, as he accidentally took a medicine meant for his girlfriend on the morning of Oct. 30.