Updated March 26th, 2024 at 11:08 IST

Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa suspended for 2 years in doping fraud case

Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa has been suspended for two years following a doping fraud investigation.

Gabriel Barbosa of Brazil’s Flamengo stands on the pitch during a Copa Libertadores group A soccer match against Argentina’s Racing Club at Presidente Peron stadium in Avellaneda | Image: AP
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Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa was suspended for two years on Monday following a doping fraud investigation.

The country's Anti-Doping Sports Court of Justice voted 5-4 to punish Barbosa.

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He brought attention to himself by his erratic behavior during a surprise test on April 8, 2023, one day before Flamengo played the Rio de Janeiro state championship. Anti-doping officers who came to test players at the club training ground were largely ignored by Barbosa, who took his test hours after his teammates.

Barbosa’s lawyers argued his blood test at the time, which is considered a more effective test, proved he was clean, and added his unfriendly behavior toward the officers did not mean he tricked the test.

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He can appeal the decision to ban him to April 2025.

Nicknamed Gabigol, the 27-year-old Barbosa is in the final year of his contract with Flamengo, which has given him national acclaim after failed stints at Inter Milan and Benfica.

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The striker was part of Brazil's Olympic gold medal squad at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. He left that year for Europe but returned to Santos in 2018, and became one of the most prolific scorers in Brazil.

He moved to Flamengo in 2019 and helped it win two Copa Libertadores and two Brazilian leagues. But he has been benched since former Brazil coach Tite took over at Flamengo last October.

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Published March 26th, 2024 at 09:07 IST