Footballer banned for one year

A professional footballer has been suspended from all sport for one-year following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV). The case was heard by the Football Association’s (FA) independent Regulatory Commission. 

On 31 January 2019, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected a urine sample from the player. Analysis of the player’s urine sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF). 

The player discussed applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) with his club doctor and understood the club doctor would subsequently make an application for a TUE on his behalf. However, no application was made by the club doctor in advance of the test on 31 January 2019.

The Regulatory Commission found the player’s ADRV was not ‘intentional’ and the player was at ‘No Significant Fault’. The Regulatory Commission also noted that the player had provided Substantial Assistance. 

Nicole Sapstead, UKAD Chief Executive said: “This is a very unusual case but one that demonstrates how important it is for athletes to take all steps to be personally responsible for their TUE applications. It highlights that an athlete is still ultimately responsible for what they have in their system, even when support staff are involved in their medication or treatment.

“The TUE application process has very strict procedures which must be followed, and the only way an athlete can have confidence in the application is to oversee it themselves.

“UKAD provides support and guidance for athletes on the TUE process, and we encourage anyone with questions to view our guidance and contact us if necessary.”

As a result of the Provisional Suspension served and the provision of Substantial Assistance, the sanction ended at midnight on 31 January 2020 and the player is now eligible to compete.

To read the independent FA Regulatory Commission’s decision, see below.