Gabriel Barbosa: Flamengo forward was hit with a two-year suspension for attempted anti-doping fraud

Flamengo and Brazil striker Gabriel Barbosa has received a two-year suspension due to his involvement in attempted anti-doping fraud.

According to reports from local media, there were some complications in conducting an anti-doping test with the 27-year-old, who is commonly referred to as ‘Gabigol’, on the day prior to a game.

Barbosa, who has represented his country in 18 matches, refutes the accusations.

“I have never attempted to obstruct or defraud any test, and I believe that I will be vindicated by the higher court,” he stated in a post on X.

“Throughout my entire football career, I have consistently adhered to the regulations of the sport and refrained from any use of prohibited substances.” I have undergone numerous tests, all of which have consistently yielded negative results.

“I am disappointed with the outcome of the judgement, but I will remain cooperative with the sporting authorities and maintain my trust that my innocence will be proven and re-established by the higher court.”

Barbosa, a member of Brazil’s victorious team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has the option to challenge the ruling by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Brazilian Doping Control Authority has announced that the athlete in question has been found guilty of attempted fraud by the Anti-Doping Sports Court of Justice.

The two-year suspension will be effective from the date of the violation, which took place on 8 April 2023.

The Brazilian Serie A season kicks off on 14 April and concludes on 8 December, which unfortunately means Barbosa will be unable to participate for the entire season. However, he is expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2025 campaign.

Flamengo expressed their surprise at the verdict and offered their support to the player for an appeal.

“The club will support the athlete in filing an appeal to CAS, as they believe there was no wrongdoing to warrant the imposed punishment,” they stated.

Barbosa joined Flamengo on a permanent basis in 2020 following a successful loan period from Inter Milan, during which he made only nine appearances over four years.

The forward netted the decisive goal in the 2022 Copa Libertadores final, securing a 1-0 victory against fellow Brazilian side Athletico Paranaense, in a match reminiscent of the prestigious Champions League.

Barbosa had the opportunity to represent Brazil for the first time in a 2-0 friendly victory against Panama in May 2016. Since then, he has managed to find the back of the net five times while playing for the national team.

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