Darijo Srna Set to Return to Pitch in August After Doping Suspension

Daniela Rogulj

Srna will be able to return to the pitch on August 22nd, as the 17-month doping suspension counted from the moment the Croatian footballer tested positive. 

We have finally learned detailed information about the doping scandal of former Croatia captain Darijo Srna. The National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADCU) has announced that the former Croatian captain was sentenced to 17 months because he tested positive for doping after the Champions League match against Napoli, which was played on March 22, 2017, reports Goal.hr on February 22, 2018.

Srna failed the test he had given outside of the competition, and NADCU announced that he tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone, the most commonly used steroid in humans. 

Although he was sentenced to 17 months, the Ukrainian Anti-Doping Center wrote that Srna would be able to return to the pitch on August 22nd, stating that he was suspended from the moment he tested positive, although he played for months afterwards – until September the same year! Srna can return to training in early June.

It all began in September 2017 when an illegal substance had been found in Srna’s doping test. A few days later, Srna informed the public that he had withdrawn from all games until the case was cleared. UEFA then announced that Darijo did not fail the doping test in the competition under their power. 

When determining the sentence, the fact that Srna did not knowingly take an unauthorized substance was taken into account, and that is why the sentence was somewhat milder for the Croatian footballer. 

“First and foremost, I would like to point out immediately that I have never been aware of or intentionally taken any unauthorized substances, nor did I try to increase my sporting effectiveness or ability in any way, unlawfully or unfairly. I am currently investigating possible sources of the substances found and will completely and voluntarily work to respect with the National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADCU). To show that I am devoted to my defense and prevent any harassment of my team and teammates, I decided to withdraw from all competitions until the ongoing legal process is over. I will entirely focus on how to preserve my honor and honesty.

Throughout my career, I have always had the impression that I have to prove myself every day. Today, I am again in a situation where I will continue to prove to myself just how much I have achieved in my life, both private and professional, with extremely hard work, congeniality, discipline and above all honesty. These are the values that my deceased father had transferred to me and which I teach my children today. Respecting the confidentiality of the whole process, I cannot comment on this case in detail. I want to thank my family, the club and their supporters for their unreserved support in this case and I hope that I will return to the field for my team as soon as possible,” Srna said a few months ago.

Translated from Goal.hr 


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