Monday, October 3, 2022

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Qatar World Cup: Senegal star Keita Balde put on MISS tournament because of global doping ban

Keita Balde will miss Senegal’s World Cup campaign in Qatar this winter after violating global anti-doping policies.

The winger was called up for a drug test after Cagliari – the Italian side he left in the summer to join Russian club Spartak Moscow – lost 5-1 to Udinese in April.

The 27-year-old returned a negative result, but in a statement on their website, Spartak confirmed that Balde was still found to have broken protocol and was consequently suspended by Italy’s National Anti-Doping Court.

The ban is effective immediately and will run until early December, with his country’s three Group A World Cup games all taking place in late November.

A Spartak statement read: “Midfielder Keita Balde has been suspended by Italy’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal until December 5 for a doping violation while playing for Cagliari.

“A sample taken from Keith that day found no prohibited substances. However, according to the Disciplinary Code, any doping-related sanction imposed by another national or international sports federation or a national anti-doping organization is automatically accepted by FIFA and must be recognized by all confederations and associations.

“Accordingly, the sanction imposed by the Italian Anti-Doping Organization is subject to recognition by the RFU.

“According to the disqualification, the player can return to training no earlier than 22 days before the penalty expires.”

Soon’s 38-minute replacement for Spartak in the 2-1 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg earlier this month is therefore his only chance of playing for his new side until early December, but he can return to training with 22 days to go his ban.

Aliou Cisse’s men, eliminated from the group stage after finishing third at the 2018 World Cup, will this time meet Holland, hosts Qatar and Ecuador in their three group games.

However, Balde is not the only player facing a ban in Qatar as the Byron Castillo case is still unresolved.

FIFA’s Appeal Committee on Friday rejected a request to ban Ecuador from the tournament, dismissing Chile’s argument that Castillo is actually Colombian and ineligible to play in Ecuador’s World Cup qualifiers.

sports mail had previously revealed evidence by releasing an audio recording of Ecuador international Castillo earlier this week, revealing birth details that matched his Colombian birth certificate.

However, the decision means Ecuador will still play at the World Cup in Qatar later this year. However, rival Chile – who had hoped to take his place – have insisted he will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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