Shakhtar Donetsk's Ukraine
international goalkeeper Olexandr Rybka has been banned by UEFA
for two years after testing positive for a prohibited diuretic
last year, the club said on Monday.
Rybka, 24, failed a doping test following a league game
against FC Karpaty on November 27 after UEFA representatives paid an
unscheduled visit to Shakhtar's training camp.
Rybka, capped once after making his international debut in a
friendly against Estonia last year, had been in contention for a
place in Ukraine's squad for Euro 2012 which the country will
co-host in June.
"According to official documents [from UEFA], the goalkeeper
of our team has been disqualified for two years," the club said
in a statement on their website.
"From the point of view of Shakhtar club, this is an
extraordinarily harsh sentence which does not reflect the scale
of the footballer's offence. Consequently, Shakhtar will be
appealing to the relevant UEFA bodies," the statement said.
If the ban is upheld, Rybka will not be eligible to play in
the Euro tournament. Donetsk, the mining city where Shakhtar are
based, is one of four host cities in Ukraine, which is
co-hosting the event with Poland.
The club's general manager, Sergei Palkin, was quoted
earlier this month as saying that Rybka had taken a diuretic to
lose weight but had not consulted the club's doctor before doing
Shakhtar have brought back their former reserve keeper
Bohdan Shust from fellow Ukrainian Premier League side
Illichevets Mariupol to cover for Rybka.
Rybka's positive test was the second major blow to
Shakhtar's hopes of retaining their Ukrainian league title this
Their long-serving Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu broke seven
ribs and suffered concussion in a car crash in Bucharest in
early January and has still not returned to Ukraine.
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