FIFA bans Nigerian striker for four years


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FIFA has hit Orji Okonkwo with a four-year ban from football activities after the Nigerian striker was found guilty of a doping violation.

Okonkwo, who plays for Italian Serie A club Bologna, tested positive for the steroid clostebol during a loan spell at Cittadella.

Clostebol is on the World Anti-Doping Code prohibited list, and the 24-year-old says he took the substance to treat a nagging knee problem.

After testing positive, Italy’s National Anti-doping Agency (Nado Italia) suspended the player from featuring in domestic leagues in June.

Fifa’s disciplinary committee has now extended the Nado Italia sanctions to have “worldwide effect”.

“Consequently, the Committee decided to extend the sanction imposed on the player by the Italian Nado on 20 June 2022,” read a Fifa statement.

“More specifically, the player is sanctioned with a four years suspension from all football-related activities in accordance with the decision.”

Okonkwo’s ban has been backdated to 25 February and he will be free to play again on 24 February 2026.

Meanwhile, the U-17 World Cup winner will appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).