October 23 – One of Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad has been handed a two-year ban by FIFA for doping, blaming his failed test on taking his son’s cough medicine.
Monza forward Alejandro ‘Papou’ Gomez, who has 17 caps for his country, says he has asked his lawyers to look into his suspension after he reportedly took the syrup in the build-up to last year’s tournament in Qatar.
The winger played for Sevilla at the time and was apparently made aware of the failed test months ago, only to receive his sanction last week. Reports say he took the medicine without consulting Sevilla’s doctors after having a bad night’s sleep.
The news is a bitter blow for Serie A outfit Monza, who only signed Gomez as a free agent last month after his contract was terminated by Sevilla on the final day of the summer transfer window following a two-and-a-half year spell at the club which won the Europa League last season.
Gomez, now 35, is best known for his time at Atalanta between 2014 and 2021 but the ban could potentially end his career.
In a lengthy statement, he protested his innocence.
“Not only have I always rigorously respected all the rules, but I have also stood up as a strong defender of clean sport and sportsmanship, condemning categorically any forms of doping … I have never intended to, and I will never, resort to a banned practice,” Gomez wrote.
“The alleged offence originates from the presence of Terbutaline in my system, after I accidentally ingested it in a spoonful of my little son’s cough syrup … I have asked my lawyers to look into the matter as I believe the disciplinary case was not treated according to the rules.”
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