Anti-Doping Scandal: Former La Liga midfielder tested positive for banned substance but case was archived

Following a series of revelations surrounding the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD), the latest has involved Alcorcon midfielder Yan Eteki. The Cameroonian tested positive for injected betametasone, but the case never made it to a hearing.

In 2019, Eteki tested positive for the banned substance, which is considered doping by WADA, after a 4-2 win in Segunda over Lugo, Eteki then at Almeria tested positive after the game. The substance was used to bring down the swelling after a twisted ankle, and was administered by then Almeria doctor Jose Ramon Pineda Guillen. The player never opened the notification from CELAD, and thus missed the 10 days of response he had, in which he could have asked for a retroactive authorisation.

After the incident, Pineda and the Almeria President Alfonso Garcia Gabarron, both recognised that the substance had been administered in letters, after having got wind of the positive test. The original test was on the 5th of May, and the results returned the 29th of May.

Pineda explained that he had administered the substance without knowledge that he had to ask for special permission to use it, trusting in his medical training and putting the error down to his inexperience in the world of professional sport.

He would later recognise that he was concerned about the player – who was in the midst of a transfer to Granada that summer from parent club Sevilla, where he would then play three seasons in La Liga. They had paralysed the deal until the matter was resolved, and Pineda explained that Eteki was at economic risk due to his mistake.

Now indisposed head of CELAD at the time, Javier Munoz-Guerra, archived the case without special permission for the use of the drug from the adjudicating committee, as per Relevo, accepting Pineda’s reasoning as valid – flaunting protocol in the process. As it were, the case was archived and Eteki signed for Granada, before moves to Casa Pia and then Alcorcon last summer.

WADA have opened an investigation into the case, after a number of covered up positive tests across sports have been attributed to CELAD, and the Spanish agency are at risk of losing their ability to oversee Spanish professional sport while meeting world anti-doping standards. If CELAD do not make the necessary changes and co-operate with the investigation, it could see Spain’s participation at risk in major internatonal tournaments, which is especially pertinent given the 2030 World Cup is scheduled there.

Tags Alcorcon Almeria Granada Yan Eteki
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