Ex-Inter Milan flop handed two-year ban from football for anti-doping fraud | inside World Soccer

Ex-Inter Milan flop handed two-year ban from football for anti-doping fraud

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Ex-Inter Milan flop handed two-year ban from football for anti-doping fraud
Photo: Marco Luzzani/GETTY IMAGES

Former Inter Milan striker Gabriel "Gabigol" Barbosa has been suspended for two years from football for obstructing an anti-doping test.

He brought attention to himself by his erratic behaviour during a surprise drug test on April 8 last year, one day before his Flamengo side played in the Rio de Janeiro state championship.

Anti-doping officers who turned up to test players at the club training ground were largely ignored by Barbosa, who took his test hours after his teammates.

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His representatives argued his blood test at the time, which is considered a more effective test, proved he was clean, and added his unfriendly behavior towards the officers did not mean he tricked the test.

Despite his claims, Brazil's Anti-Doping Sports Court of Justice ruled against him with a 5-4 vote, imposing a two-year suspension.

Given the alleged deception of anti-doping protocols occurred in April 2023, the 27-year-old has technically served half his suspension already.

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Upon receiving news of the ban, Barbosa took to Instagram to announce his despair at the outcome and reinstated his innocence.

Since the beginning of my career as a football player, I have always followed the rules of the game and never used prohibited substances.

I have already been subjected to dozens of tests, all of which were always negative, which reinforces my commitment to my club and to the Brazilian fans.

I am disappointed with the outcome of the trial, but I will continue to cooperate with the sports authorities and am confident that my innocence will be proven and reestablished by the higher court.

Barbosa came through the Santos academy a few years behind fellow graduate Neymar.

He earned his own big-money move to Europe when he joined Inter in 2016, but he scored just one goal in 10 appearances with Inter and was considered a flop following his €29.5 million move.

The forward spent most of his four-year spell on their books loaned out to the likes of Benfica and Flamengo, where he resurrected his career after joining the club permanently in 2020.

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