Tottenham forward Chioma Ubogagu has been hit with a nine-month doping ban after being charged by the FA with a doping violation.
The banned substance was canrenone, metabolised from spironolactone, which Ubogagu was first prescribed by a personal doctor in the United States as a treatment for acne before she joined Spurs last summer. The issue was flagged in November when she then requested a repeat prescription from Spurs’ club doctor.
Ubogagu had continued to use the US-prescribed medication to treat her skin without knowing it was listed as a banned substance. The FA does, however, accept that 29-year-old did not deliberately use the medication to gain an unfair sporting advantage.
A Spurs statement explained, “Both the Club and Chioma fully cooperated with the FA and UKAD [UK Anti-Doping) during the disciplinary process and Chioma has been unavailable for selection since the provisional suspension was imposed in January.
“Chioma takes full responsibility for the charge and deeply regrets her actions admitting a lack of knowledge and awareness on her part.”
Ubogagu herself said, “I am so sorry to my teammates and staff that I can’t be out on the pitch. The Club has been fully supportive throughout this entire process, and I am so appreciative of all their help. My faith, family, and close friends have helped me immensely in this difficult time. I am eager to be back soon now that this has been resolved.
“I want to make clear that the medication had no performance-enhancing effects for me, but I still made the mistake of not being as diligent as possible, and as a result I am unable to play the game I love until I serve my suspension. While my dermatologist is aware of my profession, it is also my responsibility to know more about the medications I am prescribed.
“I plan to share my story and educate others on the severity of what can happen, and I hope I can help other athletes avoid situations like mine in the future.”
Ubogagu will be eligible to return in October 2022, with the start of the ban back-dated to January when she was first excluded.