LAUSANNE: Saudi Arabian footballing star Mohammed Noor’s hopes of signing off his career against Atletico Madrid went up in smoke after he was handed a four-year doping ban on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
Noor, who officially retired in June, had been looking to take part in a friendly match between former club Al-Ittihad and Athletico Madrid in the Saudi city of Jeddah on December 30 to mark the 90th anniversary of the former.
But that will no doubt be pushed to the backburner after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed down its ruling on Noor, whose full name is Mohammed bin Mohammed Noor Adam Hawsawi, for testing positive in an in-competition doping control for amphetamine in November 2015.
World football’s governing body FIFA had appealed a ruling by the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee that saw Noor free to play again just five months after the positive test.
CAS upheld FIFA’s appeal, saying: “The Panel found that the player failed to identify any basis for impugning the reliability or accuracy of the testing laboratory’s analysis of his A and B sample.
“Moreover, the player could not identify any particular deviation from the WADA International Standards for Laboratories.
“Therefore, the appropriate sanction for the player’s anti-doping rule violation is a four-year period of ineligibility.”
The 38-year-old attacking midfielder, who spent most of his long career at Al-Ittihad, won 96 caps for Saudi Arabia and appeared at both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
Goalkeeper Mohamed al-Deayea remains Saudi Arabia’s most capped player, having won 172 caps for the kingdom.