Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper André Onana received some relief after his ban for a positive doping test was reduced to nine months on Thursday. This means the goalkeeper can resume playing in November. The short stopper had earlier been sentenced by the same court to 12 months of no active participation in football related activities.
According to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, its judges did not find a significant fault in Onana’s actions and reduced his one-year ban by UEFA. The ban now ends on November 3rd.
Onana tested positive last October for furosemide, a banned diuretic often used as a masking agent to hide the presence of other drugs. He said he was feeling unwell and took a pill prescribed for his girlfriend from a packet he mistook for aspirin “because the packaging was almost identical.”
Anti-doping rules make athletes liable for banned substances in their bodies, though they can argue they were not at fault nor negligent. The court said its judges “considered that a 9-month ban was proportionate to the negligence committed … but could not accept the goalkeeper’s request for the removal of the suspension entirely.”
The case was fast-tracked with the verdict given eight days after the appeal hearing.
The ruling could see Arsenal step up its reported interest in signing the 25-year-old Onana, who is cleared to play for Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations in January.