Ajax’s Cameroonian international goalkeeper Andre Onana has been suspended for one year for doping, the Dutch club said on Friday.
The club said in a statement Onana had “mistakenly” taken his wife’s medicine which had led to the banned diuretic Furosemide appearing in his urine.
Onana posted on social media said that “everything was the result of a human mistake.”
“I mistook a medicine containing a substance banned by WADA for a simple aspirin,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram.
He said he considered the punishment “excessive and disproportionate as it has been acknowledged by UEFA that it was an unintentional mistake.”
Onana and Ajax both said they would appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Ajax said they had hoped Onana would receive a shorter ban because the substance was “arguably” not a performance booster.
“On the morning of October 30, Onana was feeling unwell,” the club said in a statement.
“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.”
“We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these 12 months, because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance,” said Ajax’s managing director Edwin van der Sar, the former Manchester United goalkeeper.
Onana said that after “being named the best goalkeeper in Holland for the last four years ad in Africa for the last three years…I have no need to resort to doping to further enhance my sporting career.”
It is the second major setback this week for Ajax who admitted Thursday that they had made a “huge” mistake in failing to register record signing Sebastien Haller for the remainder of their Europa League campaign.
The Franco-Ivorian striker joined the club from West Ham in early January for a club record 22.5 million euros ($26.9 million) and ought to have been included on their Europa League roster but somehow was overlooked.