The Cameroonian goalkeeper who plays for Ajax FC Andre Onana has been suspended for 12 months by European soccer's governing body UEFA for violating doping rules.
After an "out of competition" check on October 30 last year, the goalkeeper found the substance Furosemide in his urine. The suspension is effective from today and applies to all football activities, both national and international.
Furosemide is not known to be performance-enhancing itself but can be used to mask the use of other kinds of doping, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
It was the abstract of Ajax’s official statement:
On the morning of October 30, Onana was feeling unwell. He wanted to take a pill to ease the discomfort. Unknowingly, however, he took Lasimac, a drug that his wife had previously been prescribed. Onana’s confusion resulted in him mistakenly taking his wife's medicine, ultimately causing this measure to be taken by UEFA against the goalkeeper. Furthermore, the disciplinary body of the football association has stated that Onana had no intention of cheating. However, the European Football Association believes, on the basis of the applicable anti-doping rules, that an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no banned substances enter the body.
Onana and Ajax will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an international body established in 1984 to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Its headquarters are in Lausanne and its courts are located in New York City, Sydney, and Lausanne.
For what it’s worth, the club’s CEO Edwin van der Sar has backed the 24-year-old, believing the incident.
“We explicitly renounce performance-enhancing drugs, we obviously stand for a clean sport. This is a terrible setback, for Andre himself but certainly also for us as a club. Andre is a top goalkeeper, who has proven his worth for Ajax for years and is very popular with the fans. We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these twelve months, because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.”
Andre Onana is just 24 years old and he already made his mark in European football. He was the Gaol keeper of the Ajax side of 2018-19 when they reached the semi-final beating both real Madrid and Juventus.
The Cameroon international, who came through the ranks at Barcelona. He joined Barcelona in 2010, after starting out at the Samuel Eto'o Foundation. In early January 2015, it was announced that he would join Dutch club Ajax in July 2015. The education of Onana, which saw him develop at Barcelona and now Ajax, meant he’s more or less built in the profile of a modern goalkeeper.
He was averaging the highest saves per game figure (3.0 p/g) since moving to the Dutch club this season and was tied with Vitesse’s Remko Pasveer on nine clean sheets before the ban, which now threatens to stain his reputation and Ajax career.
There were interested parties – Onana's representatives held talks with Chelsea, who instead turned to a familiar finishing school. Last February, Sportsmail reported the 24-year-old, valued at £40-50million, had dreams of joining Tottenham or Chelsea.
But Onana's ambitions have not been tempered. Despite committing to the seventh season in Amsterdam, the 24-year-old remains keen on a move next summer. The Premier League remains his preferred destination.
For a continent that doesn’t produce a deluge of top goalkeepers consistently, the Cameroon star was one who seemed to be rated highly in Europe and was linked to several top clubs like Chelsea, before they purchased Edouard Mendy from Rennes, and recently Borussia Dortmund, who were said to be considering the Central African as Roman Burki’s replacement.
The Cameroonian theoretically still has age on his side after returning to redeem himself be it at Ajax or elsewhere, as opposed to Toure whose best years were behind him at the time and evidently on the wane in 2011.
Onana will still be in his prime years when he returns, and observers can only hope this absence doesn’t wreck the career of one of Africa’s best exports at a time the continent seems to be suffering a dearth of talent between the sticks.
Yesterday the Ajax players showed their support for Onana by wearing a tee-shirt of him. Everyone wore a shirt named after Onana. They showed moral support for Onana which could be a big boost for their argument at court in front of a jury. But this could easily backfire if Onana loses his case.
The players are wearing Onana’s shirt to support him after UEFA banned him for 12 months. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/RFSWk52SML— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) February 10, 2021