Mali midfielder banned by UEFA for doping, player accepts decision

Mali midfielder banned by UEFA for doping, player accepts decision
Mali midfielder banned by UEFA for doping, player accepts decision

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- Yasmine El Tohamy - Photo: Kevin C. Cox – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Mali midfielder Sekou Koita has been handed a three-month ban by European football’s governing body UEFA after he was tested positive in a drug test held back in November 2020.

Red Bull Salzburg announced that Koita, along with his Mali teammate Mohamed Camara were positive for a banned substance in a UEFA drugs test carried out on November 22 last year.

Koita and Camara said they had been treated by the Mali team doctor before playing an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in the Namibian capital of Windhoek which sits at 1,700m above sea level.

“UEFA has today decided to suspend me for a (non performance enhancing) anti-altitude medication, given to me by the medical staff of my national team,” Koita said in a statement.

“Whilst I’m sad that I can’t help my team at this challenging end to the season, I’m also relieved that UEFA has taken into account the facts of my case.”

“I urge all footballers, especially the young players, to be extremely careful with the products distributed by the medical staff of their teams. I will come back even stronger in May 2021 inshaAllah.”

The 21-year-old striker was just another player to be suspended over doping grounds after Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana was slammed a heavy 12-months ban earlier this month.

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