There seem to be problems at the Ghanaian FA who refused to have four of their players tested for drugs after their 1-0 defeat against Kenya – with one of the players being Newcastle’s Christian Atsu.
That’s the usual procedure after games, and it’s well known.
The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (AKAD) was blocked access to the four players by the Ghana FA, and there will now be a report sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Ghana’s anti-doping agency.
Since Christian Atsu is one of Ghana’s best players and he had a good game against Kenya, it’s not surprising he was one of the four players they wanted to test.
Christian Atsu in action for Ghana
Ghana Soccer Net has quoted an AKAD source as saying the following:
“After the match, our officials went to pick out the targeted players and they all agreed to provide samples.”
“But some officials in the Ghanaian team held the players back, saying they did not have prior information of the testing, even though no one is supposed to be notified.”
“Our main target were key players from both teams and this is normal practice.”
“We were, however, taken aback by the action of the Ghanaian officials.”
AKAD’s Director of Standards and Compliance Sarah Shibutse issued the following statement:
“We are allowed to test any athlete coming into our territory without warning them.”
“Anybody who refuses to be tested is construed to have committed a violation and we are required to report to either WADA or their local anti-doping body.”
Christian Atsu and Newcastle are only involved tangentially as pawns in this – and it is the Ghana FA who have to explain why their players were not allowed to be tested.
When they refuse to have players tested, the assumption is they have taken drugs that are disallowed.
The excuse that the Ghana FA were not informed of the testing is simply nonsense.