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CSKA Moscow still in Europe

All you CSKA Moscow fans out there can breathe a very heavy sigh of relief with the news that your team will not be disqualified from the Champions League for the drug offences of their two players, Sergei Ignashevich and Aleksei Berezutsky.

The pair were suspended on 3 November after failing dope tests after their game at Manchester United last month, which led to some speculation that the Russian side could be disqualified. Part of Article 12 of European football's governing body disciplinary regulations states that ‘if more than one player from the same team is charged with a doping offence in relation to a prohibited substance or methods, the team in question may be disqualified from the competition in progress and/or future competitions.’ However Uefa told the Press Association that ‘in this case it is a specified substance so disqualification of the team does not apply, it is more the sanction of the players themselves.’

The club have pleaded the player's innocence, claiming that the substance they tested positive for wasn’t on the Uefa’s banned list, and that it was a cold remedy that contained it. ‘The problem is that during the doping control procedures a clerical error was made by employees within our medical staff,’ said a club statement. ‘For the players and for the club this news was truly shocking.

‘Unfortunately, we do not yet fully understand all the circumstances of the case, but we have nothing to hide, and we believe our fans should be made aware of that. This situation has arisen in connection with the treatment of our players from a severe cold during their time with the national team, and not in any way with doping, which is also known by the relevant bodies within Uefa.’

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