Footballer banned for two years after failing drugs test

Professional footballer for Barnsley FC, Bambo Diaby has been banned from all sport for a period of two years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) collected a urine sample from Mr Diaby ‘In-Competition’, after an EFL Championship match against Blackburn on 23 November 2019. Analysis of Mr Diaby’s A Sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for higenamine, a beta-2 agonist that is prohibited at all times.

Speaking on the ban, UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: “This case is an important reminder to all athletes of the importance of checking what they put in their system. If that is through using dietary supplements then our advice is clear – assess the need, assess the risk, and then do the necessary checks using the resources available.

“Every athlete, and those who support athletes, should be aware of the consequences of not undertaking the necessary enquiries. As seen in this case, they can be very significant for an athlete.”

The FA charged Mr Diaby with breaching Regulation 3 of The FA Anti-Doping Regulations – "Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Player’s Sample”.

Mr Diaby admitted the charge and the Regulatory Commission of the FA imposed a two-year ban.

In view of Mr Diaby’s provisional suspension, his ban is deemed to have commenced on 17 January 2020 and will expire at midnight on 16 January 2022.

Technical terms 

Higenamine is thought to increase the rate at which the body metabolises fat and has a potential stimulatory effect on the body. For these reasons, higenamine is found in dietary supplement products that claim to either help users lose weight (marketed as weight loss products) or increase energy levels and performance during training or competition (marketed as pre-workout products).

Higenamine is listed under section S3 Beta-2 Agonists of the WADA 2019 Prohibited List, which states that it is always banned in sport.

Read the full decision and reasons below.