Newcastle United star Christian Atsu fingered in Ghana doping scandal in Kenya

Published on: 12 September 2018
Newcastle United star Christian Atsu fingered in Ghana doping scandal in Kenya
Joash Ochieng (left) of Kenya tackle Christian Atsu Twasam of Ghana during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on September08, 2018. Kenya won 1-0.

Newcastle United star Christian Atsu has been named as one of the four Ghanaian players who are facing a possible ban by the world anti-doping agency (Wada) for avoiding a compulsory doing test while playing for his country over the weekend.

Officials of Ghana’s national football team Black Stars are in trouble with Wada for blocking four players from being tested during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Harambee Stars at Kasarani on Saturday.

The report in a Kenyan newspaper did not state whether the player was contacted but was clear that team officials blocked access to the players.

The players may also be cited for non-compliance for failing to provide samples to Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) officials after Saturday’s match which they lost 1-0.

According to Adak, they were asked to test four players from each team.

“After the match, our officials went to pick out the targeted players and while they all agreed to provide samples, 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,” said our source, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Kenyan players who were tested are Michael Olunga, Ovella Ochieng, Teddy Akumu and Eric Johanna.

The source only confirmed Ghana's Christian Atsu, who turns out for Newscastle United, as among the Ghanian players who were to be tested by Adak.

“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,” added the source.

The local anti-doping agency, through the Director of Standards and Compliance Sarah Shibutse, said they will report the case to Wada and Ghana’s anti-doping agency.

“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,” she said.

This is not the first time Adak have tested foreigners.

Ghana has not responded to the allegations.