The 12-month ban from football imposed on Cameroon international goalkeeper, Andre Onana has been reduced to nine months following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Onana who features for Dutch side, had his hearing at CAS earlier this month and after a four-hour online session and further deliberation, Onana will be allowed to resume training from 4 September onwards – before being allowed to compete again from 4 November.
The decision was announced on Ajax’s official website, and could help pave the way for a move to Arsenal this summer – with the faltering Premier League giants believed to have been awaiting the outcome of the hearing before deciding whether or not to pursue a deal with the Eredivisie champions.
Confirming the reduction of Onana’s ban, a CAS statement in regards to his appeal read: “In coming to its decision, the CAS Panel also found that no “significant fault” could be attributed to Andre Onana who had ingested medication destined for another person in error.
On that basis, the panel considered that a 9-month ban was proportionate to the negligence committed and reduced the suspension by three months, but could not accept the goalkeeper’s request for the removal of the suspension entirely.”
Onana failed a drugs test last October when the banned substance Furosemide was identified in his urine sample. The Cameroon international insisted it was the result of human error and that he took his wife’s medication by mistake due to the packaging being ‘almost identical’.
He’s since been linked with a move to the Premier League and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, and has just one year remaining on his contract. Ajax are understood to be willing to do a deal, and his availability from November onwards could go a long way towards a move being agreed.
Onana kept nine clean sheets in his 20 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax prior to being banned, and is known for being good with the ball at his feet. That’s a trait that will appeal to Arteta, who has continued to encourage current Gunners number one Bernd Leno to play out from the back despite the German making errors that have led to goals.