Gabriel Barbosa Suspended for Two Years for Attempted Anti-Doping Fraud

Flamengo and Brazil striker Gabriel Barbosa, popularly known as ‘Gabigol’, has been handed a two-year suspension for attempted anti-doping fraud. The 27-year-old allegedly made it difficult to conduct an anti-doping test the day before a game, according to local media reports.

Barbosa, who has represented Brazil 18 times, vehemently denies the accusations, asserting his innocence in a statement posted on X. He maintains that he has always adhered to the rules of the game and has never used banned substances. He expresses disappointment with the judgment but pledges to cooperate with sporting authorities and seek exoneration through the appeals process.

The Brazilian Doping Control Authority confirmed the ruling, stating that Barbosa was found to have violated anti-doping regulations by attempting fraud.

The two-year ban takes effect from the date of the violation, which occurred on 8 April 2023. Consequently, Barbosa will miss the entirety of the Brazilian Serie A season, running from 14 April to 8 December, but should be eligible to return for the start of the 2025 campaign.

Flamengo, Barbosa’s club, expressed surprise at the verdict and announced their intention to support the player in appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). They contest that there was no evidence of fraud or attempted fraud to warrant the punishment imposed.

Barbosa, who joined Flamengo permanently in 2020 after a successful loan spell from Inter Milan, has been a key figure for the club, notably scoring the winning goal in the 2022 Copa Libertadores final. Despite the setback, he remains hopeful of clearing his name and returning to the pitch in the future.

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