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, shortly after CSKA’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
But the detected substance in question is on a list of “non-specified” stimulants so Uefa will not be punishing the individuals.
Part of Article 12 of European football’s governing body disciplinary regulations states: “If more than one player 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.”
This prompted speculation that CSKA could be thrown out of the Champions League, but a spokesman for UEFA body told the Press Association: “In this case it is a specified substance so disqualification of the team does not apply, it is more the sanction of the players themselves.”
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 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 stressed that the substance 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.