UEFA bans Fin­land mid­fielder Ro­man Ere­menko for co­caine

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Fin­land mid­fielder Ro­man Ere­menko has been banned for two years af­ter he tested pos­i­tive for co­caine, UEFA said yes­ter­day.

Traces of co­caine, which is con­sid­ered a banned stim­u­lant, were found in a sam­ple Ere­menko gave af­ter play­ing for CSKA Moscow in a Cham­pi­ons League game against Bayer Lev­erkusen in Septem­ber.

The re­sult of that game, a 2-2 draw, will not be af­fected by Fri­day's rul­ing even though Ere­menko scored CSKA's sec­ond goal.

The two-year ban is back­dated to Oct. 6, the date Ere­menko was pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended.

“The club and the player in­tend to ap­peal this de­ci­sion,” CSKA said in a state­ment on its web­site. “Fur­ther com­ments will be given once we re­ceive the full text of the de­ci­sion.”

This month, the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport gave Al­ge­ria for­ward Youcef Be­laili a two-year ban on ap­peal for co­caine af­ter throw­ing out a pre­vi­ous four-year sanc­tion on pro­ce­dural grounds.

Ere­menko's case fol­lows an­other Cham­pi­ons League dop­ing case last sea­son, when Mace­do­nia mid­fielder Ari­jan Ademi was banned for four years when he tested pos­i­tive for a banned steroid while play­ing for Di­namo Za­greb against Arse­nal in the group stage.

Born in Moscow, the 29-year-old Ere­menko grew up in Fin­land and has rep­re­sented the coun­try 73 times, in­clud­ing in qual­i­fy­ing for the 2018 World Cup. He won the Rus­sian league ti­tle with CSKA last sea­son and the Ukrainian ti­tle with Dy­namo Kiev in 2009.

“We ab­so­lutely can­not ac­cept the use of drugs, wher­ever it may take place,” Marco Casagrande, the chair­man of the Fin­nish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, said in a state­ment.

“We're ex­tremely sorry for the ac­tions of Ro­man Ere­menko. Though we con­demn the use of drugs, one also has to keep in mind the di­men­sion con­cern­ing the in­di­vid­ual,” Casagrande added. “Should Ro­man Ere­menko need sup­port to take care of his is­sues, we're ready to help.”

CSKA is fourth in the Rus­sian league and last in Group E of the Cham­pi­ons League be­hind Monaco, Lev­erkusen and Tot­ten­ham.

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