Ajax stars show support for banned keeper Onana before PSV cup clash

Ajax players rally behind Andre Onana by wearing shirts in public show of support for banned goalkeeper after failed drugs test… as he watches on from the stands during crunch KNVB Cup quarter-final against rivals PSV

  • Andre Onana has been hit with a 12-month ban by UEFA after a failed doping test
  • Keeper failed a drugs test in October 2020 after showing Furosemide in his urine
  • Drug can be used as a masking agent and helps the body flush other elements
  • Ajax say Onana was ‘unwell’ and in ‘confusion’ took his girlfriend’s medicine
  • Prior to the KNVB Cup quarter-final with PSV, Ajax players worn ‘Onana’ shirts 

The full Ajax squad have made a very public show of support for their goalkeeper Andre Onana, after the Cameroon international was banned by UEFA for a failed drugs test.

Prior to their crunch KNVB Cup quarter-final against rivals PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night, Ajax players took to the Johan Cruyff Area each wearing ‘Onana 24’ goalkeeper shirts.

In a unified show of backing, Ajax players wore the shirts for the full duration of the warm-up while the club’s social media team worked hard to beam the images worldwide.

Ajax have thrown their full support behind Andre Onana following his 12-month UEFA ban

The keeper (second from right) watched on as Ajax faced PSV in the KNVB cup quarter-finals

The 24-year-old himself was present in the stadium, and was photographed watching on from the executive boxes while his team-mates played the crunch tie without him. 

Former Roma, Fulham and Everton keeper Maarten Stekelenburg took Onana’s place in goal for the match, in which Ajax went on to take a 2-1 victory.

A brace from summer signing Sebastien Haller was enough to seal victory, with the striker now excelling in Holland following a failed spell with West Ham United.

Ajax remain steadfast in the backing of their first choice ‘keeper, who they insist has simply been the victim of an innocent mistake. 

Ajax won the match 2-1 courtesy of a brace from summer signing Sebastien Haller

Onana tested positive for Furosemide – a potential masking agent – which is explained was due to mistakenly taking his partner’s medication after feeling unwell

Recently outlining the situation with Onana, club CEO Edwin Van der Sar spoke to the Dutch media to give full explanation.

‘A few days after the UEFA message, he came directly to De Toekomst from Schiphol and we went to his bathroom with the doctor, where we took all the medication and whatever looked like it for examination,’ Van der Sar said via de Telegraaf

‘Andre was not feeling well on the day of the check-up and thought he had taken a headache tablet, but it turned out that he had taken a pill from a strip of his wife’s medicine, which she had been prescribed after the pregnancy of their first child.

‘It looked quite similar in name and strip. And the strips were loose in his locker. It’s dumb luck, yes.’

Athletes do not directly benefit from Furosemide, which could work in favour of Onana and Ajax, although it is known as a ‘masking agent’ used to rid the body of evidence of doping.

‘We have submitted our defence and the person responsible at UEFA has checked the reading of Andre and Ajax with experts,’ Van der Sar added.

Ajax chief Van der Sar says the club will appeal CAS’ verdict against their 24-year-old stopper

‘The experts say that we can go to CAS with hope. It is important that there is a quick verdict. There are cases of athletes who have been suspended for four years, but I also know the example of a cyclist who was caught using the same product and only had a two-month suspension.

The 24-year-old’s contract expires in the summer of 2022 and had attracted interest from Chelsea last summer before the Blues signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes.  

‘In the coming week we will discuss the whole situation, because Onana obviously represents value in the business. He was on the list of many top clubs,’ Van der Sar added.  

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