Tottenham Women striker Chioma Ubogagu has been banned by the FA for nine months for two anti-doping rule violations.
The 29-year-old joined from Real Madrid this year after previously playing in America and Australia.
An FA statement said a banned substance, canrenone, was found in a test sample in October – while Spurs’ own statement on the matter notes that club doctors informed authorities in November that Ubogagu had been using drugs that she, unbeknownst to her, contained .
Her ban applies until October 2022, retrospectively from the start of a provisional suspension at the beginning of the calendar year.
“An independent regulatory body has suspended Tottenham Hotspur Women’s Chioma Ubogagu for nine months after two anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs),” the FA said.
“The forward has been charged with two ADRVs under the FA Anti-Doping Rules for the presence and use of canrenone, a prohibited substance detected in a urine sample taken during a squad test on Thursday October 7, 2021 by UK Anti-Doping.
“Chioma Ubogagu admitted that the two ADRVs accepted by the commission were committed unintentionally, noting that during a subsequent hearing Chioma Ubogagu demonstrated that she committed them without significant fault or negligence on her part.
“The Commission has imposed a nine-month embargo.”
A statement from Tottenham confirmed Ubogagu had been suspended from match days since January due to a provisional suspension and sought to explain the circumstances of her use of the banned substance.
“Chioma was prescribed two forms of medication to treat acne in the United States by a private physician before joining the club,” the statement said.
“The 29-year-old continued to take the drug to treat her skin condition after her arrival, unaware that the drug was banned.
“In November 2021, Chioma applied for a repeat prescription from the club doctor, who alerted the responsible authorities; the FA and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) on the Use of a Prohibited Substance.
“The FA accepts that Chioma did not take the drug spironolactone to intentionally gain an illegal advantage.
“Both the club and Chioma have cooperated fully with the FA and UKAD throughout the disciplinary process and Chioma has not stood for selection since the provisional suspension was imposed in January.
“Chioma accepts full responsibility for the charges and deeply regrets her actions as she admits a lack of knowledge and awareness on her part.”
“I’m so sorry for my teammates and staff that I can’t be on the pitch. The club has been very supportive throughout this process and I am so grateful for all of their help. My faith, family, and close friends have helped me greatly during this difficult time. I look forward to returning soon after this is fixed.
“I want to clarify that the drug did not have a performance enhancing effect for me, but I still made the mistake of not being as diligent as possible and as a result I am unable to play the game I love until I serve my suspension have . While my dermatologist is aware of my profession, it is also my responsibility to learn more about the medications I am prescribed.”
The Spurs finished the women’s Super League season in fifth place.