Saturday 25 November 2017

Man Utd duo Phil Jones and Daley Blind punished for breach of UEFA doping rules

Manchester United's Phil Jones has been banned for two European matches
Manchester United's Phil Jones has been banned for two European matches

Phil Jones has been banned and Daley Blind fined for breaching anti-doping regulations after Manchester United's Europa League final victory in May, UEFA has announced.

Defender Jones has been suspended for two matches for verbally abusing a doping control officer after being selected for testing following the match against Ajax in Stockholm on May 24.

Jones, who was also fined 5,000 euros by the European governing body, will miss the UEFA Super Cup match against Real Madrid next week and United's first Champions League group stage game in September.

Press Association Sport understands Jones was upset at having to miss out on celebrations and a squad photograph paying tribute to victims of the Manchester terrorist attack. He expressed that disappointment to the official at the time.

Blind was fined 5,000 euros for not immediately reporting for a test while United were fined 10,000 for the rule breaches. There is no suggestion that either player was guilty of doping.

Dutch defender Blind's punishment may have arisen from confusion. He did celebrate with the team and feature in the photograph but did so accompanied by a chaperone. He believed this was permitted, as it is in other competitions. In this instance, however, it was not and he did not realise he had done anything wrong until he reached doping control.

UEFA announced the charges and sanctions on its website on Monday afternoon. United have not commented on the matter and no decisions have yet been taken over whether appeals will be made against any of the decisions.

UEFA's statement read: "The club (United) has been charged for infringements of the UEFA anti-doping regulations (ADR) concerning the doping control procedure.

"In particular, according to Appendix B (17) of the aforementioned regulations, 'the teams are responsible for ensuring that the players drawn to undergo doping controls are taken by the respective team representatives to the doping control station straight from the pitch as soon as the match is over. This applies even when chaperones are appointed by UEFA'.

"The player Philip Jones has been charged for insulting and directing abusive language towards the doping control officer (Article 15 (1) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations), as well as for lack of co-operation and respect towards the doping control procedure (Article 6.05 ADR).

"The player Daley Blind has been charged for violation and non-compliance with Article 6.05 (a) of the UEFA anti-doping regulations, which states that 'every player designated to undergo as doping control is personally responsible for reporting immediately to the doping control station as notified'.''

Blind played the full 90 minutes against his old club Ajax, while Jones was an unused substitute.

United won the match 2-0 to secure qualification for the coming season's Champions League.

The punishment comes after defender Eric Bailly was given an additional two-match ban, also affecting the Super Cup and first Champions League game, following his sending-off in the semi-final against Celta Vigo.

Bailly was involved in a confrontation with Celta's John Guidetti amid a melee. He missed the final but UEFA last week confirmed two extra games would be added to the suspension.

Press Association

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