The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reduced Andre Onana’s year-long doping penalty to nine months. Onana was suspended in February 2021 after failing an out-of-competition test for a prohibited drug in October of the previous year.
He has been unable to play or train with Ajax or the Cameroon national team since the suspension was enforced, but he will be free to compete again in November.
Arsenal’s rumoured interest in signing the 25-year-old Onana, who has been cleared to play for Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations in January, could increase as a result of the judgment. Last October, Onana tested positive for furosemide, a prohibited diuretic that is frequently used as a masking agent to conceal the presence of other narcotics.
He said he was feeling unwell and took a pill prescribed for his girlfriend from a packet he mistook for aspirin “because the packaging was almost identical.”
Why was the ban reduced?
The three-person CAS panel that heard Onana’s appeal determined that UEFA’s first 12-month sentence was ‘disproportionate and severe.’ Because she was pregnant and it had been prescribed by a doctor, Onana’s wife was in possession of the medicine, which is not considered a performance-boosting stimulant.
What does this mean for Arsenal?
Negotiations with Ajax over a cost for the goalkeeper are set to pick up speed immediately, with the Dutch giants eager to cash in on a player who will be available on a free transfer next summer. Arsenal feels a bid of around £7 million ($9.7 million) will be enough to get the Eredivisie champions to do business.