Two of Manchester United’s players have been sanctioned by UEFA for breaching anti-doping rules following their Europa League final win against Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden back in May.
[ MORE: Christian Pulisic to Liverpool? ]
Jones was charged with “insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer” and failing to cooperate with the procedure. Blind is charged with non-compliance as UEFA stated he did not go “immediately to the doping control station as notified.”
United were also fined $11,751, with Jones banned for two European games which includes the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid on Aug. 8 in Skopje, plus their UEFA Champions League group stage opener. Blind did not receive a suspension.
Of course, anti-doping measures are serious in soccer, as they are in any sport, but the fact that Jones and Blind may not have had this on their mind right away is probably because they just finished a grueling, testing season by winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League.
Jones and Blind probably just wanted to celebrate with their fans in Stockholm, but UEFA isn’t having any of it and rules are rules.
Below is the statement from UEFA in full, with United able to appeal their decision.
The club has been charged for infringements of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations (ADR) concerning the doping control procedure. In particular, according to Appendix B (17) of the afore-mentioned regulations, “the teams are responsible for ensuring that the players drawn to undergo doping controls are taken by the respective team representatives to the doping control station straight from the pitch as soon as the match is over. This applies even when chaperones are appointed by UEFA”.
• The player Philip Jones has been charged for insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer (Article 15 (1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations), as well as for a lack of cooperation and respect towards the doping control procedure (Article 6.05 ADR).
• The player Daley Blind has been charged for violation and non-compliance with Article 6.05 (a) of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, which states that “every player designated to undergo as doping control is personally responsible for reporting immediately to the doping control station as notified”.