Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has revealed the details of the “stupid mistake” that cost him nine months of his career.
Onana was initially banned for 12 months after he was found to have ingested the banned substance furosemide. The goalkeeper admitted his innocence and his explanation that he had accidentally taken his partner’s medicine was accepted, but he was still given a nine-month suspension because he did not control what he put in his body.
‘How do you explain to your parents? You do not drink, have never drunk, never smoked anything and now they say you are a drug addict?
This is the truth about @AndreyOnana.
– Players’ Tribune Football (@TPTFootball) December 30, 2021
He resumed training in October and has been Ajax’s reserve goalkeeper this season, which is expected to be his last year at the club as he nears the end of his contract.
Onana has previously lifted the lid on her mistake. Now, in an interview with The Players’ Tribune, he discussed his shock at how severe the punishment was.
“UEFA could see that it was just a human error, you know?” he said. “They researched and I told them my story. The question they asked most was: ‘Why do you have this medicine in your house?’. It was easy to answer: ‘Because of the little one. My partner should have children… It here are her pills.
“This was definitely not a crazy excuse I was just making up. I was not making up anything. I was not trying to cheat. All the evidence was there. This was just a stupid mistake.
“After all, I assumed they would be like ‘OK, these things’re happening. It’s a mistake. Be more careful next time “. To put it in football terms, I thought they would show me a yellow card. But no, they went straight to red. Twelve months suspension. No football. Eredivisie? KNVB Cup? Europa League? Champions League? AFCON? Away. Just like that. A year for a football player? It’s like 10 years. It’s an eternity.
“I understand. The law is the law, right? F *** up, you pay the price. And I paid. But sometimes you wonder, do they punish you for learning a lesson, or do they do it just to hurt you? “
But despite the obvious disadvantage of the ban, Onana was adamant that he took nothing but positive from the situation.
“In a way, I needed this year to get that focus back,” he admitted. “Listen, I’m not going to get down on my knees and say thank you for the ban – damn it – but it helped me take a step back and see what’s really important. I trained like I’ve never trained before. The person who saw me then would not have thought, this is a guy who’s off.
“In the summer, when the sports arbitration tribunal reduced the ban from 12 months to nine, I celebrated as if I had won the Champions League! They even put a line in their report that said there was nothing ‘significantly wrong’ on my part. It was something. They can not remove the stain, but they cleaned it a little.
“But more than that, the reduction was a big victory for me, because after everything I had been through, it meant I could play in the Africa Cup of Nations in January … in Cameroon. It meant everything.”
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