The English Football Association (FA) has banned Senegalese defender Bambo Diaby for two years after he pleaded guilty to the use of a prohibited substance.
The 22-year-old plays for Barnsley in the Championship. Already, the club has terminated – by mutual consent – his contract.
UK Anti-Doping officials found traces of Higenamine in a urine sample provided by Diaby after Barnsley’s match against Blackburn on 23 November 2019.
“Bambo Diaby has been suspended from all football and football-related activity for two years following a breach of The FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations,” the FA said in a statement.
“The Barnsley FC defender provided an in-competition urine sample to The FA and UK Anti-Doping officials on 23 November 2019 that was found to contain Higenamine once analysed.
“The World Anti-Doping Agency classifies Higenamine as a prohibited substance at all times and he was subsequently charged by The FA for a breach of its Anti-Doping Regulations.
“While Bambo Diaby admitted the charge, he did not establish how the Higenamine entered his system. As such, an independent Regulatory Commission imposed the mandatory two-year ban.
“The suspension is effective from the date of the player’s provisional suspension on 17 January 2020 and will run up to and including 16 January 2022.”
Diaby took to Twitter immediately after the announcement, where he maintained his innocence and insisted he would fulfil his “dream”.
“I am devastated with the news that I have received which means I cannot return to play football until 2022,” he wrote on the microblogging platform.
“This has been such a long process but I had remained upbeat and inspired by the support and backing from the club.
“They supported me from day one of my charge and I am so grateful for that.”
He added: “I maintain my innocence, something the FA have acknowledged themselves but I must handle this decision with my family and look forward to a brighter future.”