Cameroon: Andre Onana Gets Doping Ban Reduced to 9 months.

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Andre Onana has not played a single game since February

Indomitable Lions and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has seen his one-year doping ban reduced to nine months. This decision was rendered this Thursday, June 10 by the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS.

Onana, 25, was suspended in February 2021, having failed an out-of-competition test for a banned substance the previous October.

“I mistakenly took it for aspirin because the packaging was almost identical, which I greatly regret, Andre Onana said back in February.

“I respect the UEFA Appeals Body, but I do not share their decision in this case. I consider it excessive and disproportionate as it has been acknowledged by UEFA that it was an unintentional mistake.”

The ban for Andre Onana means he has been unable to play or train with Ajax or the Cameroon national team since the suspension was imposed but will now be eligible for the competition from November.

After a four-hour online session, CAS ruled that Onana’s 12-month ban should be reduced to nine months. The suspension shall now end 4 November 2021 and up to that time, it covers all football activities, both national as international.

Onana is allowed to restart his training two months before the end of the suspension which will be on September 4, 2021.

Premier League giant Arsenal is reportedly keen on bringing Andre Onana to the club

This decision to reduce the sentence by three months have been appreciated by the Cameroonian sporting community who are hoping to Onana in the colour of the national team for the upcoming AFCON. This window will give the goalkeeper somewhat enough time to prepare with his national team if he is called up for the World Cup qualifiers and also the AFCON.

Edwin van der Sar, the CEO of Ajax, told the club’s website: “With this ruling of the CAS we have won three months in comparison to the initial suspension. So it was worth it taking this case to the CAS. We stand for a clean sport. I will say again that we are convinced that Andre has taken this substance by accident and certainly not to perform better.

“This is endorsed by all parties, also by the UEFA as is to be concluded from the cases both by the UEFA and the CAS.

“When we told our story, together with Andre and the lawyers from the CAS, I drove off from The Ajax Academy with a good feeling. I have mixed feelings about today’s verdict because our aim was that he would be back playing games this summer.”

Andre Onana now has a big decision to make in the next couple of days or weeks with the transfer window in Europe open. He has been linked with several clubs that are looking at getting his services. Premier League giant Arsenal is reported to be keeping a close eye on Andre Onana and it was reported they were waiting for the CAS decision before tabling a bid for the goalkeeper.

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