Saudi striker Fahd Al-Muwallad was left out of his country’s squad for the 2022 World Cup hosted by Qatar, on Sunday, as a “precautionary measure”, after he failed a doping test earlier this year.
The 28-year-old Saudi youth team player tested positive in February for the banned drug furosemide, which can be used as a masking agent to prevent doping from being detected.
Al-Mawlid was banned from playing for 18 months last May by the Saudi Anti-Doping Committee.
Despite this, the Saudi Center for Sports Arbitration eased the ban in late August, deciding that the period during which the suspension had been suspended was sufficient.
But the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed the decision, and according to local media reports, a longer ban is expected on the 28-year-old, who was suspended from playing in 2019 for one year, also for doping.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has referred it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport has yet to issue a ruling.
The Saudi team said on its Twitter account that “after reviewing the latest developments in the appeal of the World Anti-Doping Agency” and after consulting with Saudi lawyers, coach Herve Renard decided to exclude the generator as a “precautionary measure.”
Renard hired midfielder Nawaf Al-Abed, who also plays with Al-Shabab, as a substitute for Al-Moulad.
Saudi Arabia is in Group C along with Argentina, Mexico and Poland in the finals, and opens its campaign against Argentina on November 22.