Monday 19 February 2018

Hughes confirms Berahino served eight-week drugs ban

Saido Berahino in action for new club Stoke. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
Saido Berahino in action for new club Stoke. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

John Percy

Mark Hughes has confirmed that Stoke City were fully aware of Saido Berahino's ban for drugs before signing him for £12m.

Berahino's troubled career has suffered further turbulence after it was revealed he was suspended for eight weeks after testing positive for a recreational substance while at previous club West Brom.

It is claimed the 23-year-old served a Football Association ban after failing the drugs test in September.

And Hughes, the Stoke manager, has admitted the club were informed of the ban before ending their protracted pursuit of the striker last month.

"We are aware of it clearly - there was an disciplinary matter and Saido had an eight-week suspension, I believe," he said.

"We were aware of that before we signed him. In terms of more detail you would probably need to refer back to his former club, West Brom.

"We aren't in a position to give any more details as we don't have them. He had issues at his previous club for 18 months, which this is obviously a part of.

"As with all players we did our research on him before we signed him, but that didn't change our thinking at all. We are pleased with what he is producing and he is looking forward to the game."

Stoke face West Brom at the Hawthorns today, with Berahino expected to play some part as a substitute.

Tony Pulis added: "Saido served a ban while he was here but I won't comment why. He didn't play for me because he wasn't fit enough."

Pulis said he fears the impact of Peter Crouch more than Berahino (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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