07.10.2020 14:27 h

Barnsley defender Diaby handed two-year doping ban

Championship club Barnsley have cancelled the contract of Bambo Diaby after the defender was suspended for two years over a breach of the Football Association's anti-doping regulations.

The 22-year-old returned a urine sample last November that was found to contain higenamine, a natural stimulant that is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA's) list of banned substances.

The Spanish-born player was charged in January 2020 but contested the charge.

An independent regulatory commission imposed the mandatory two-year ban.

Diaby admitted the charge, the FA said, but did not establish how the substance had entered his system.

The suspension is effective from the date of the player's provisional suspension on January 17, 2020.

A statement from the club, who play in England's second-tier, said: "Despite making sincere efforts to identify the source of the prohibited substance, Bambo Diaby has been unable to do so.

"Because of this, a two-year mandatory ban has been imposed by WADA and the FA. Bambo Diaby was not found guilty of knowingly ingesting a banned substance.

"Both Bambo Diaby and Barnsley FC have been honest and compliant throughout the process. However, following the outcome, regretfully Bambo Diaby's contract has been consensually terminated."

Diaby maintained his innocence in an open letter to fans.

"I must handle this decision with my family and look forward to a brighter future," he said. "And you never know what may happen.

"I will never give in on one day pulling that shirt back on."