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Andre Onana resumes Ajax training as drug ban nears end

Jamie Spencer
Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is back training with the first-team squad
Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is back training with the first-team squad / BSR Agency/GettyImages
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Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has re-joined first-team training with the Amsterdam club as he prepares to resume his career following a drug ban.

Onana soon finishes serving a nine-month suspension after testing positive a banned substance earlier this year. The drug in question was furosemide, which the player said was prescribed to his wife and he took by mistake after feeling unwell one morning.

Furosemide itself is not believed to have any performance enhancing qualities but is banned because it could be used to mask doping activities. Onana was initially slapped with a 12-month ban, reduced to nine on appeal after authorities took into account the mitigating factors.

The suspension, which began in February, will end in early November. Ajax have confirmed that Onana was eligible to resume training at the start of September in preparation for his return. However, it is only now that he has re-joined the first-team squad.

Over the last eight weeks, the Cameroon international has been training with the Under-21 squad instead. Ajax haven’t offered a reason as to why he was initially sidelined from the first-team but an injury to Maarten Stekelenburg may give him a chance at a reprieve this season, at least.

Onana’s longer term future at Ajax remains uncertain. He is out of contract next summer and talks with the club have failed to yield an agreement over an extension.

Speaking about the player’s return to training, sporting director Marc Overmars admitted it was the expectation a transfer would be arranged last summer. Now, however, 39-year-old Stekelenburg’s absence creates a gap in the squad, with 37-year-old Remko Pasveer recently standing in.

“It was clear to us that Andre would make a transfer last summer. That did not happen and so he is still under contract with us,” Overmars said, via Ajax.nl.

“My position on his situation was clear, but then the news came that Maarten Stekelenburg is out for the rest of the season. Ajax needs are paramount and from this point of view it is good that he reports to the first team again.”


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