Al-Ittihad star Al-Mowallad faces ban for doping

Al-Ittihad and Saudi national team striker Fahad Al-Mowallad in action. (SPA file photo)
Updated 16 May 2019

Al-Ittihad star Al-Mowallad faces ban for doping

  • The Saudi Doping Commission conducted the test on April 27 after the match against Al-Nassr, which Al-Ittihad won 3-2
  • Last February, Qadiai goalkeeper Faisal Masrahi was handed a one-year ban by the Saudi Football Federation for a similar offense

JEDDAH: Al-Ittihad and Saudi national team standout Fahad Al-Mowallad faces a one-year ban from local and international competitions after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Al-Ittihad received a notice three days ago from the Saudi Doping Commission that the test on its prize striker returned positive for phenethylamine, a banned substance.
The commission conducted the test on April 27 after the Saudi Professional League match against Al-Nassr, which Al-Ittihad won 3-2.
Prior to last month’s test, Al-Mowallad underwent five drug tests this season, which he passed. A decision will be handed down after a hearing on Thursday.
Reports said Al-Mowallad’s massage therapist gave him the drug to relieve muscle pain. It is not clear whether the therapist was under the employ of Al-Ittihad.
Another player, Faisal Masrahi, a goalkeeper for Qadisia, was handed a one-year ban by the Saudi Football Federation for a similar offense. He was tested on Feb. 19 after a league match.
Two samples were taken to the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. One of the samples returned positive for a banned substance, which Masrahi did not contest.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Professional League concludes on Thursday with Nassr set to win the championship crown with a match against Al-Batin. Nassr sits on top of the league table on 67 points with Al-Hilal, which plays Al-Shabab on the same day, trailing by one point on 66.
Shabab is a distant third on 54 points. Batin, which has been relegated to the second tier of the Saudi football league, is on 25 points.


Liverpool cleared to win Premier League at Anfield

Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente scores a goal against Liverpool during their match in London. The Reds will play against Everton on June 21. (Reuters/File)
Updated 06 June 2020

Liverpool cleared to win Premier League at Anfield

  • All remaining 92 Premier League games this season will be played behind closed doors, but there are fears that hosting the game in Liverpool could encourage supporters to congregate around stadiums

LONDON: Premier League leaders Liverpool could claim a first title for 30 years at Anfield after the initial batch of fixtures of the restart was announced on Friday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men, with a commanding 25-point lead at the top of the table, were just two wins away from clinching the title before coronavirus forced the suspension of football in March.
Liverpool’s first match back is against Everton on June 21. The Merseyside derby is due to take place at Goodison Park, less than a mile from Anfield, but a venue has not been confirmed by the Premier League. Crystal Palace will then visit Anfield three days later.
Wins in both of those matches would guarantee Liverpool’s first English top-flight title since 1990. But if Manchester City lose at home to Arsenal on June 17, the Reds would be champions if they beat Everton.
Liverpool City Council’s safety advisory group will meet next week to make a decision on whether the game can go ahead at Goodison or should be moved to a neutral venue.
All remaining 92 Premier League games this season will be played behind closed doors, but there are fears that hosting the game in Liverpool could encourage supporters to congregate around stadiums.

SPEEDREAD

Liverpool’s first match back is against Everton on June 21. The Merseyside derby is due to take place at Goodison Park, less than a mile from Anfield, but a venue has not been confirmed by the Premier League. Crystal Palace will then visit Anfield three days later.

The only other match that could be moved to a neutral venue from the first three rounds of fixtures is Liverpool’s visit to City on July 2.
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, voiced fears that “there would be many thousands of people who would turn up outside Anfield” on the day Liverpool’s long wait for a league title was ended.
That has been disputed by the club, who said they have engaged with supporters’ groups to make sure social-distancing guidelines are followed.
Aston Villa will host Sheffield United in the first match of “Project Restart,” followed by Arsenal’s trip to City on June 17.
Manchester United’s visit to Tottenham will spearhead the first full round of matches spread over four days from June 19 to 22.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters said: “We know it won’t be the same without our loyal supporters in stadiums but, together with our broadcast partners, we are able to ensure fans can watch or listen to each match live from home.”