One-match ban for CSKA Moscow drug cheats

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The Independent Football

Two CSKA Moscow players who failed drugs tests following a Champions League match with Manchester United have escaped with just a one-match ban from UEFA.

Sergei Ignashevich and Alexei Berezutski both tested positive for banned stimulants and were provisionally suspended by UEFA.

As they missed a Champions League match against Besiktas earlier this month both will be eligible to play in the knock-out rounds of the tournament next year.

The club have been fined 25,000 euros (about £22,000) for not implementing the correct regulations.

UEFA said in a statement: "The UEFA control and disciplinary body has today imposed a one-match suspension on the two CSKA Moscow players Sergei Ignashevich and Alexei Berezutski after they failed to comply with the UEFA anti-doping regulations following the UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United on November 3.

"As both players were provisionally suspended, and therefore did not play in the UEFA Champions League match against Besiktas on 8 December, they have already served their suspension.

"In addition CSKA Moscow were fined 25,000 euros for not implementing the UEFA anti-doping regulations."

The players and the club have three days to appeal.

CSKA had claimed the two defenders were the victims of an error by the club's medical staff, who failed to register cold cures given to the players while on international duty.

The club said in a statement: "Our medical staff had made a technical error, failing to disclose cold medicine Sudafed during a doping test on 3 November in Manchester."

The players would not have returned a positive finding if the medical staff had filled out the correct therapeutic use exemption (TUE) form.

A UEFA spokesman said the offence "was not a case of intentional doping to improve performance" but confirmed that the stimulant was on the banned list.

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