CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko gets 2-year UEFA drug ban

CSKA Moscow's Roman Eremenko © Maxim Shemetov
CSKA Moscow midfielder and Finland international Roman Eremenko has been banned by European football’s governing body UEFA for two years after testing positive for cocaine.

Eremenko gave the positive test after his side’s 2-2 Champions League group stage draw away to Bayer Leverkusen on September 22. The ban will be backdated from October 6 this year.

A UEFA press release announced that on November 10 the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) heard the 29-year-old’s case at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Ironically, the date of the hearing coincided with a tweet sent from CSKA Moscow's official Twitter account which praised the player for scoring on his debut for the club in 2014. 

The hearing was attended by CSKA Moscow lawyer Ilya Kedrin, the footballer’s lawyer Artyom Patsev, his former agent Marco Trabucchi, and Eremenko himself. After the hearing the committee took a recess before delivering its verdict.

“The Finnish player has been suspended for two years from all competitions, following the positive result of a doping control test in competition undergone by the player after the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and PFC CSKA Moskva played on 14 September 2016 in Germany,” the press release reads.

“The analysis of the A sample revealed the presence of cocaine and its metabolites - a stimulant that is classified under the category of prohibited substances in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2016 Prohibited List under class S6 - being prohibited in-competition.

“The player was found guilty of being in breach of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, Edition 2016. As a result, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided to impose a two-year ban on Roman Eremenko, starting from 6 October 2016 date of the provisional suspension.

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“This decision may be appealed against within three days of receipt of the written reasoning.”

On the night of October 6 the Football Association of Finland announced on its official website that UEFA had suspended Eremenko for one month.

The following morning, the information was confirmed by CSKA and then FIFA announced the player would be banned from all competitions for that time. It then extended the ban based on the UEFA verdict.

Eremenko, who has won 73 caps for his national side, has the right to appeal the ruling. Earlier this month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) gave Algerian forward Youcef Belaili a two-year ban on appeal for cocaine after throwing out a previous four-year sanction on procedural grounds.

Moscow-born Eremenko joined capital club CSKA - with whom he won the 2015/16 Russian Premier League title - from league rivals Rubin Kazan in 2014. He previously played for Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine for Italian sides Siena and Udinese. 

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