Wednesday 12 December 2018

New United start may face sanction over 'missed' test

Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez. Photo: Reuters
Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez. Photo: Reuters

Ben Rumsby

Alexis Sanchez could still face action over a "missed" drugs test, despite Arsene Wenger yesterday admitting Arsenal were to blame for an investigation into his whereabouts during his move to Manchester United.

Sanchez's former club were last night waiting to learn whether they would be issued with a "strike" for breaching Football Association's rules over the forward's absence during a visit by doping control officers on Monday, while he was sealing his switch to Old Trafford.

The player, who has been asked for his observations about the administrative blunder, could also face a "strike" if he is found, separately, to have transgressed.

With both him and Arsenal understood to have no previous "missed tests" against their names, any strike would leave each of them two further such slip-ups in the next 12 months from being punished, which would include a minimum one-year ban for the 29-year-old.

responsible Under FA rules, clubs must inform the governing body in advance if they know one of their players will not be present at training, with players separately responsible for telling it where they will be for one hour of that day so testers can locate them.

United did not respond to requests for comment yesterday - and Sanchez's agent could not be reached - on whether the player did, indeed, fail to provide the FA with a location at which he could be tested on Monday.

Arsenal also declined to comment on whether it was their policy to remind their players to do so after Wenger admitted the controversy had been the fault of his own club, who had been deep in negotiations that day over the swap deal involving Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"On Monday, there was a lot going on," he said. "I think it's a special event for him to miss a drugs test because he was certainly busy somewhere else with his agent.

"The intention of Alexis was certainly not to hide, nor was our intention to hide anything. We have nothing to hide."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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