Premier League-linked footballer to miss World Cup after ban for doping

Keita Balde is set to miss Senegal's World Cup campaign in Qatar after breaching worldwide anti-doping policy.

Reports state that the winger, who had several years ago been linked to West Ham and Liverpool, was called to give a drugs test after his side Cagliari lost 5-1 to Udinese back in April.

The attacker, who recently left the Serie A outfit to join Spartak Moscow, reportedly returned a negative result and had subsequently been suspended by the Italian National Anti-Doping Court.

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The ban has come into effect immediately and will continue until early December, meaning that he will be out of action for the World Cup, missing his country's three World Cup Group A fixtures at least.

A Spartak statement read: “Midfielder Keita Balde has been suspended by the Italian National Anti-Doping Court until December 5 due to a doping violation while playing for Cagliari.

“A sample taken from Keita that day found no banned substances. However, in accordance with the disciplinary code, any doping-related sanction imposed by another national or international sports association, national anti-doping organisation, is automatically accepted by FIFA and must be recognised by all confederations and associations.

The statement continued: “Accordingly, the sanction applied by the Italian Anti-Doping Organisation is subject to recognition by the RFU. Under the terms of the disqualification, the player will be able to return to the training process no earlier than 22 days before the expiration of the sentence.'

Balde made a 38-minute substitute appearance earlier this month, but he could not make turn his side’s fortunes around as they were defeated 2-1 by Zenit St Petersburg.

The winger will therefore only be able to make a return to the pitch in December. But rules state that he can be training 22 days before the end of his ban.


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