Acne medication led to a 9-month suspension for a Tottenham striker
Tottenham Hotspurstriker was slapped with a hefty suspension over her acnemedication.
- The FA determined Chioma Ubogagu "unintentionally" took a banned substance by using canrenone.
A Tottenham Hotspur player won't see the pitch for nine months thanks to an "honest mistake" with dire consequences.
Chioma Ubogagu, a 29-year-old striker for Tottenham, has been suspended by the FA after she was found to have "unintentionally" committed anti-doping rule violations during her time with the club.
The violations in question? She was taking a medication a doctor prescribed to treat the acne she's struggled with for years.
"I didn't think anything of it," Ubogagu wrote of using the drugs in a recent essay for The Players' Tribune. "Obviously, I should've known better, but it never occurred to me to check them on the banned substances list. My dermatologist knew I played football professionally, and I never had any issues with anything she'd prescribed me before."
"Nothing could've seemed less performance-related than skin treatment," she added.
As it turns out, the medication found in her sample, canrenone, isn't performance-enhancing at all. However, it can be used to mask other drugs in one's system, making it more difficult to catch legitimate
Ubogagu had no idea. And since her consultations with Tottenham's medical staff all took place via Zoom at the height of the pandemic, the Texas native's use of the banned substance slipped through the cracks. That is, until she needed a refill and sent the team doctor, Craig, a photo of the medication's box.
"'You're not allowed to take that,'" Ubogagu recalled Craig texting her in response. "'That's a banned substance.'"
Though Ubogagu faced up to four years banned from the sport due to her mistake, the FA — England's governing body for
Given that she has already spent more than three months off the pitch ahead of the FA's official ruling, Ubogagu will be eligible to rejoin her team in October 2022. It's a heavy price to pay for an honest mistake, but the Stanford alum described feeling "relief like I'd never felt before" upon hearing the
"Had someone told me a year ago that I'd be celebrating a ban of nine months at this stage in my career, I would've thought they were crazy … but everything in perspective, right?" Ubogagu wrote. "Nine months is long, but it's not The End."
"I'm buzzing that I'll be back next season, and I just wanna make the remaining years I have left count."
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