Ajax two players short this season due to blunder, doping
Ajax is facing the football season without two major players. Due to an administrative blunder, new player Sebastien Haller cannot play in the Europa League because he wasn't registered with UEFA. The European football union also suspended Ajax goalie Andre Onana for 12 months for breaking the doping rules, the Amsterdam football club announced on Friday.
Haller is Ajax's most expensive purchase to date. He transferred to the Amsterdam club from West Ham United for 22.5 million euros last month. Due to an administrative error, his name was not added to the UEFA registry, which means he cannot play in the Europa League. Ajax appealed, but UEFA ruled that he cannot be added late."
"Internally we are all thundering obviously. But it remains human work," coach Erik ten Hag said to Het Parool on Thursday. "We are a professional organization that practices top sport. You cannot blame this mistake on one person. More people were involved. In the end, Marc Overmars and I are ultimately responsible."
The banned substance Furosemide was found in goalkeeper Onana's urine during a check on October 30 last year, Ajax also said on Friday. UEFA therefore suspended him for 12 months for doping. The suspension takes effect immediately and applies to all football activities, both national and international.
Onana and Ajax are appealing to the international sports tribunal CAS against the suspension. According to Ajax, Onana wasn't feeling well on the morning of October 30 and drank a tablet. He accidentally ended up taking a tablet previously prescribed to his wife that promotes water and salt excretion through the urine.
The UEFA disciplinary body believed that Onana did not intentionally cheat, Ajax said in a press statement. But the football association still ruled against him, stating that an athlete has the duty to at all times ensure that no prohibited substances enter their body.