Saturday Jun 12, 2021. 10:00
Cameroon international Andre Onana has had his ban for a doping violation reduced to nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), meaning that he will be available for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Onana was originally suspended for 12 months in February by Uefa after he was found to have the banned substance furosemide in his urine, after an ‘out of competition’ check on 30 October last year.
The Ajax Amsterdam shot-stopper, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, explained that he had accidentally taken a pill containing the substance after mistaking his wife’s medicine for aspirin.
“The CAS panel… found that no ‘significant fault’ could be attributed to Andre Onana, who had ingested medication destined for another person in error,” the court said in a statement as reported by BBC Sport.
“On that basis, the panel considered that a nine-month ban was proportionate to the negligence committed and reduced the suspension by three months, but could not accept the goalkeeper’s request for the removal of the suspension entirely.”
Onana will only be allowed to return to a football pitch competitively on the 4th of November, but can resume training two months before the end of the suspension.
“With this ruling from the CAS, we have an extra three months [with Onana available] compared to the original suspension,” Ajax managing director Edwin van der Sar told the club’s website.
“So the step to the CAS was not in vain. We stand for a clean sport. But I repeat that we are convinced that Andre took this drug accidentally and certainly not to perform better.
“Last week when we told Andre and the lawyers our story at CAS, I drove away with a good feeling. I have mixed feelings about today’s statement, because our goal was for him to be back on track from this summer.”
Onana, 25, has kept 83 clean sheets in 204 appearances for the Dutch Eredivisie champions.
He has played 18 times for the Indomitable Lions and will be eager to make a good impression so as to be included in the squad for next January’s AFCON tournament on home soil.