Nigeria-born and Tottenham Women Football Club forward Chioma Ubogagu has been handed a nine months ban by England’s Football Association for two anti-doping violations.
The 29-year-old, who has three England caps, agreed to the offenses involving the prohibited chemical canrenone, which was found in a urine sample in October.
The suspension was imposed by an independent regulatory committee that acknowledged Ubogagu had committed the offenses accidentally.
Tottenham stated that the forbidden chemical was in a medicine Ubogagu had been administered in the United States to treat acne and had no idea it was illegal.
“An independent regulatory committee has suspended Tottenham Hotspur Women’s Chioma Ubogagu for nine months following two Anti-doping Rule Violations,” the FA stated in a statement on Thursday (ADRVs).
“The forward was charged with two ADRVs under the FA’s anti-doping regulations for the presence and use of canrenone, which is a banned substance, and had been detected within a urine sample collected during a squad test on Oct. 7 2021 by UK Anti-Doping.
“Ubogagu admitted the two ADRVs, which the commission accepted were committed unintentionally, and found that (she) had established that she committed them without significant fault or negligence on her part during a subsequent hearing.
“The commission imposed a nine-month period of ineligibility.”
Tottenham, who signed the former Arsenal and Real Madrid player last summer, said in a statement on their official website: “Chioma was prescribed two forms of medication in the U.S. from a personal doctor to treat acne before signing for the club.
“Both the club and Chioma fully cooperated with the FA and UKAD during the disciplinary process and Chioma has been unavailable for selection since the provisional suspension was imposed in January.
“Chioma takes full responsibility for the charge and deeply regrets her actions admitting a lack of knowledge and awareness on her part.”
Ubogagu said: “I am so sorry to my teammates and staff that I can’t be out on the pitch. The club has been fully supportive throughout this entire process and I am so appreciative of all their help.
“My faith, family, and close friends have helped me immensely in this difficult time. I am eager to be back soon now that this has been resolved.
“I want to make clear that the medication had no performance-enhancing effects for me, but I still made the mistake of not being as diligent as possible and as a result, I am unable to play the game I love until I serve my suspension.
“While my dermatologist is aware of my profession, it is also my responsibility to know more about the medications I am prescribed.
“I plan to share my story and educate others on the severity of what can happen and I hope I can help other athletes avoid situations like mine in the future.”