World Cup 2022 winner Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez has insisted that a positive test for doping was a result of ingesting his son's cough medicine.
The Monza forward was hit with a two-year ban from football on Friday (October 20) after a positive test last October, just a month before he was on international duty with Argentina where they won their first World Cup since 1986.
The test stemmed from his time at La Liga side Sevilla, where he spent three years, before joining the Serie A side last month on a free transfer. At 35 years of age, two years away from the sport could effectively end his career as the diminutive player maintained his innocence in a statement he posted on Instagram.
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"Not only have I always rigorously respected all the rules, but I have also stood up as a strong defender of clean sport and sportsmanship, condemning categorically any forms of doping … I have never intended to, and I will never, resort to a banned practice," Gomez wrote.
"The alleged offense originates from the presence of Terbutaline in my system, after I accidentally ingested it in a spoonful of my little son’s cough syrup … I have asked my lawyers to look into the matter as I believe the disciplinary case was not treated according to the rules."
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Gomez has made two appearances for Monza this season and wasn't in the squad in Sunday's (October 22) 1-0 defeat to Roma where Stephan El Shaarawy scored a stoppage-time winner. Roma boss Jose Mourinho was sent off in the last seconds of action after telling Monza manager Raffaele Palladino: "You talk a lot and then you cry".
The Portuguese legend also had a go at Gomez after the forward said his only memory of the manager was when his former side Sevilla defeated Roma in the Europa League final last season. His comments came prior to his ban as Mourinho clapped back by saying: "Gomez did not play in the Europa League Final, I think he did play against Juventus after getting a positive result.
"In any case, I don’t want to talk about this. If I get a cough, then I won’t take that syrup, or else I will be in trouble too."
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