UEFA’s disciplinary body has suspended Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana for one-year over doping, the Dutch club confirmed on Friday.
“After an “out of competition” check on 30 October last year, the goalkeeper found the substance Furosemide in his urine,” Ajax noted in a statement on their website. “The suspension is effective from today and applies to all football activities, both national and international.”
The Amsterdam-based club explained that Onana had felt unwell on 30 October 2021, and wanted to take a bill to ease the discomfort caused by the illness.
“Unknowingly, however, he took Lasimac, a drug that his wife had previously been prescribed,” the club added. “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 1995 Champions League winners, however, quoted the UEFA body as saying that the 24-year-old former Barcelona youngster did not have any intention of cheating but said: “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.”
Despite the suspension, Ajax and the player will be pushing for a reversal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), the statement further noted.
“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,” the team’s Managing Director, Edwin van der Sar added.
“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.”