Arsenal could swoop for Andre Onana after doping ban reduced

Martin Macdonald
Former Chelsea and Tottenham transfer target Onana given 12-month doping ban

Former Chelsea and Tottenham transfer target Onana given 12-month doping ban

Arsenal could step up their interest in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana after his suspension from football for doping was reduced from 12 months to nine months.

In February, Onana was banned from football for a year after testing positive for a banned substance from an out-of-competition test in October.

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He was set to be banned from February of 2021 until February of 2022, but after an appeal was made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal, he will now be eligible to play again in November.

Before that he has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all reportedly interested.

The Gunners' interest has remained even with the ban, and they could make a swoop for the Cameroonian this summer as competition with or as a replacement for Bernd Leno.

Onana has emerged as one of Ajax's key players over the last few years and has won two Eredivisie titles with the Dutch giants, while he was excellent in the run to the Champions League semi final stage in 2019.

Why was Onana banned?

According to the governing body, the substance furosemide was found in the Ajax goalkeeper’s urine after a test on October 31 last year.

According to the Eredivisie club, Onana took the pill the day before his test, after his wife prescribed it to him when he wasn’t feeling well.

Although UEFA have acknowledged that the player had “no intention of cheating” and the substance was not performance-enhancing, they maintain that the player still broke rules about taking banned substances.

“We explicitly renounce performance-enhancing drugs, we obviously stand for a clean sport. This is a terrible setback, for Andre himself but certainly also for us as a club,” said Ajax chief executive Edwin Van der Sar.

“Andre is a top goalkeeper, who has proven his worth for Ajax for years and is very popular with the fans.

“We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these twelve months, because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.”