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CSKA Moscow avoid Champions League ban for failed tests

Aleksei Berezutsky
Berezutsky (pictured) and Ignashevich are both Russian internationals

CSKA Moscow will not be thrown out of the Champions League despite two of their players testing positive for a banned substance, Uefa has confirmed.

Sergei Ignashevich and Aleksei Berezutsky were suspended on Tuesday for failing doping tests on 3 November.

But the detected substance in question is on a list of "non-specified" stimulants so Uefa will not be invoking disqualification penalties.

CSKA beat Besiktas 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the last 16 ahead of Wolfsburg.

The two international defenders failed their tests after the 3-3 draw at Manchester United last month, resulting in their suspension for the victory in Turkey which sealed second spot in Group B behind United and a place in the first knockout round of the Champions League.

There had been speculation that CSKA MOscow could be disqualified over the issue.

But part of article 21 of the disciplinary regulations state that it would need more than two players to be involved for the threat of disqualification to be considered.

"If more than two players from the same team is charged with a doping offence in relation to a prohibited substance or methods, the team in question may be disqualified from the competition in progress and/or future competitions," reads Uefa ;s anti-doping statutes.

Both Berezutsky and Ignashevich's A samples revealed the presence of a prohibited substance under the category 'S6 stimulants' from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) prohibited list 2009.

CSKA has defended its players, claiming they were given a cold remedy while battling colds on international duty and the club's medical staff had failed to include the medication on a list given to Uefa staff before the game against United at Old Trafford.

The club highlighted that the substance in question was not on Uefa's banned list, saying in a statement: "The problem is that during the doping control procedures a clerical error was made by employees within our medical staff.

"For the players and for the club this news was truly shocking.

"Unfortunately, we do not yet fully understand all the circumstances of the case, but we have nothing to hide, and we believe our fans should be made aware of that.

"This situation has arisen in connection with the treatment of our players from a severe cold during their time with the national team, and not in any way with doping, which is also known by the relevant bodies within Uefa.''

Uefa will discuss the case further on 17 December, one day before the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League is made.

During the game in November CSKA led United 3-1 at Old Trafford before Paul Scholes's late strike and an injury-time Georgi Shchennikov own goal rescued a point for the hosts.

Last week CSKA were awarded the "clean feet" by Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the National Association of Bookies, given to the side deemed to be the most honest in the Russian Premier League following an analysis of betting on matches.



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Champions League results

8 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


see also
Wolfsburg 1-3 Man Utd
08 Dec 09 |  Europe
Tuesday football as it happened
08 Dec 09 |  Football
Champions League photos
08 Dec 09 |  Football
Man Utd 3-3 CSKA Moscow
03 Nov 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football


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