On Tuesday, Enyimba Captain, Austin Oladapo, was handed a one-year ban from football by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over an alleged doping violation.
According to the highest football governing body in Africa, CAF, the ban started on the 4th of July.
Oladapo returned positive for Prednisolone/Prednisone when his urine sample was tested after the Confederations Cup tie against Pyramids FC of Egypt on May 16, 2021.
However, the management of Enyimba has come out to defend their player, stating the club’s abhorrence to doping and other related practices.
A statement released by the club chairman Felix Anyasi Agwu on the club’s website read: “According to the letter, as well as previous correspondences on the issue, Oladapo’s urine sample, taken after the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final first leg against Pyramids FC on May 16, 2021, tested positive for the banned substance Prednisolone.”
“While we have been given the option to appeal the decision, it is pertinent to first clarify that as a club, we have a strict code of conduct that shows zero tolerance to hard drugs or any banned substance. That is why there had never been any record of a positive doping test for any of our players, either in the domestic or international competitions.”
The Peoples’ Elephant also affirmed that the 26-year-old has never shown any sign of insubordination, as he has always abided by the club’s statutes.
They defended their Captain, adding that even if he took the substance, it was without his knowledge. Cited were his clean records in continental competitions where he returned negative results after facing tests.
“We are therefore convinced that a player who over his four years with us has shown such an exemplary level of moral and professional discipline could not have knowingly taken the said substance.”
“Also worthy of note is the fact the player has had a clean doping record, having been subjected to tests on previous occasions in CAF Competitions – CARA Brazzaville vs Enyimba (2018) and the 2018 CHAN in Morocco. On both occasions, the tests returned negative. ”
Enyimba stated that Oladapo had been on special medications to combat malaria with bronchitis before the game against Pyramids, and the drugs that he was taking were steroidal and contained traces of the substance they found in the urine samples of their star man.
The former Gombe United man was influential for Enyimba in the CAF Confederations Cup, scoring three goals in nine appearances last season.