5/16/2018 9:43:28 PM

Cagliari's Joao Pedro gets six-month doping ban

Cagliari

Rome, Italy: Cagliari forward Joao Pedro was on Wednesday banned for six months by Italy's national anti-doping organisation NADO for failing two doping tests.

Prosecutors had requested a four-year suspension after the Brazilian tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide following two Serie A games against Sassuolo and Chievo in February.

The 26-year-old, who insisted he unwittingly consumed contaminated food supplements, will be free to return for the Sardinian club on September 16 with most of the ban being served over the close-season.

"This sentence for me is like a rebirth after the four-year request the prosecutor made," said Pedro. "They believed that there was no bad faith on my part, for me this is already a victory."

Pedro becomes the second Serie A player this season to be banned.

Benevento captain Fabio Lucioni was suspended for a year in January after testing positive for the steroid clostebol after his side lost 1-0 to Torino in September.

Benevento team doctor Walter Giorgione was banned for four years for administering the steroid to Lucioni in a spray.

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