Barnsley defender Bambo Diaby has been banned from all forms of football activity for two years after he was found guilty of breaching the Football Association’s anti-doping regulations midweek.
Diaby, 22, showed traces of Higenamine in an ‘in-competition’ urine sample when tested in January 2020.
However, he could not establish how the substance entered his system.
This triggered the two-year penalty, while the Tykes have now terminated his contract following the suspension.
The ban started on the date of his provisional suspension on 17 January 2020 and expires at 23:59 GMT on 16 January 2022.
Spain-born centre-back Diaby played 22 games for the club following his move from Belgian sideLokeren in July 2019.
In an open letter to fans on the club website,external-linkDiaby thanked supporters for the messages of support during the time he was suspended for the investigation.
“I maintain my innocence, something the FA have acknowledged themselves but I must handle this decision with my family and look forward to a brighter future,” he said.
“I was welcomed with open arms by staff, players and the whole community of Barnsley. I made this place my home and was looking forward to many years playing for the town and its people.”
Barnsley were critical of the time it took for the conclusionof the investigation, and admitted the decision to release Diaby was a “regretful” one.
“The FA Anti-Doping Regulation mandate a two-year ban where an individual is unable to show that they meet the strict requirements to sustain a plea of No Fault or Negligence, or No Significant Fault or Negligence,” their statement said.
“Despite making sincere efforts to identify the source of the prohibited substance, Bambo Diaby has been unable to do so. Because of this, a two-year mandatory ban has been imposed by World Anti-Doping Agency and the FA. Bambo Diaby was not found guilty of knowingly ingesting a banned substance.
“Both Bambo Diaby and Barnsley FC have been honest and compliant throughout the process. However, following the outcome, regretfully Bambo Diaby’s contract has been consensually terminated.”