Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana has been banned for 12 months by the UEFA for failing a drug test.

The 24-year-old failed a drug test in October as the result showed that he had furosemide in his urine test sample, which is a banned substance.

Furosemide is on the list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances for athletes because it decreases tidal volume, minute ventilation and the respiratory exchange ratio at the aerobic threshold. In simple terms, furosemide can be used as a masking agent, which helps the body rid itself of doping evidence through urination before testing.

Ajax and Onana will appeal the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the suspension that has been imposed on the player by the UEFA.

The Cameroonian opened up about the incident on social media stating that he had mistaken his wife’s medication for aspirin as “the packaging was almost identical”. He regrets the mistake he made and agrees to face the consequences, however, felt that the ban was “excessive and disproportionate”.


Ajax announced in a statement that the UEFA had agreed that Onana had not intentionally cheated but believed that “an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no banned substances enter the body”.

Onana, who is Cameroon’s first-choice goalkeeper and one of the best in the world, will have to sit out of the Africa Cup of Nations. As the host nation for the tournament, Onana’s loss can have a significant impact on the nation’s chances of winning the competition.

Goalkeeping legend and Ajax Managing Director – Edwin van der Sar also made a statement on the incident, “We explicitly renounce performance-enhancing drugs – we obviously stand for a clean sport. This is a terrible setback, for Andre [Onana] himself but certainly also for us [Ajax] as a club. Andre is a top goalkeeper, who has proven his worth for Ajax for years and is very popular with the fans.”

The Manchester United legend went on to add, “We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these 12 months because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.”

Onana had 9 clean sheets in 20 games for the Dutch giants and has come up for La Masia – Barcelona’s youth system after playing in Samuel Eto’o’s youth academy in Cameroon in 2010. At just 24, he has made almost 250 professional appearances, including over 200 for Ajax to go with an impressive 83 clean sheets.

Ajax and Cameroon will miss the presence of the young star, dearly and need to find a worth replacement in goal soon.