CSKA stars face bans after failing drug tests

Wednesday, 9 December 2009 ·


UEFA has confirmed that the cases of two players of CSKA MOscow will be discussed on 17 December to determine whther they will be banned. The two defenders, Sergei Ignashevich and Aleksei Berezutsky, have been suspended after failing doping tests on 3 November following the 3-3 draw against Manchester United. The club are firmly behind their players, however, putting the blame on a clerical error made by one of their medical staff who failed to include the substance in question on a list of medication they gave to staff of UEFA prior to the game.
The substance, pseudoephedrine, is contained in Sudafed, which the two players were taking after contracting cold symptoms whilst on international duty. The substance itself is not banned but is on the monitored list of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The news came as a lifeline for Wolfsburg who will be playing in the Europa League following their 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United because UEFA rules state that "If more than two players from the same team are found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation in relation to a prohibited (non-specified) substance or method, the team in question may be disqualified from the competition in progress and/or future competitions" but UEFA have confirmed today that CSKA Moscow will not be banned according to the rules because the substance in question is not an officially banned substance, however, the players themselves will be subject to the full letter of the law as it currently stands.
One question that emerges from this is whether the administering of the rules is sufficient with a large amount of cases being centred around the 'monitored' substances as opposed to those officially banned.

Graham Matheson

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