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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 17 January, 2018
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Stoke striker Berahino claims spiked drink led to eight-week drugs ban

The 23-year-old was banned by the FA last year.

Berahino has played six Premier League games for Stoke since his January move.
Berahino has played six Premier League games for Stoke since his January move.
Image: Mike Egerton

STOKE CITY STRIKER Saido Berahino has claimed the eight-week drugs ban he served earlier this season was because he had his drink spiked on a night out.

The former England U21 international was banned by the Football Association (FA) for two months last year after testing positive for a recreational drug.

Berahino, who was at West Brom at the time, didn’t play between September and January before joining Stoke during the most-recent transfer window for £12 million.

After pleading his innocence at the time, the 23-year-old has now said the level of drugs found was ‘really low’.

Speaking to BBC’s Football Focus, Berahino said: “To be banned for something you really haven’t done is hard to take.

“You go on a night out, you don’t know who you are around and there are people who are out to get you.

“Of course, I was in a nightclub, so I hold my hand up for being irresponsible. From then on it all crashed down. To this day, I still cannot understand who would want to do that to me.”

Berahino also claims West Brom didn’t offer him any protection and he was made an outcast by manager Tony Pulis.

“No-one protected me at that club,” he said. ”It was hard not doing what I really love – that’s what killed me the most.

“Waking up in the morning, playing football and having a smile on your face. Not doing that was the hardest thing for me.

“I was depressed. Every morning I walked in the training ground I didn’t want to be there.

“Going from loving something and hating the place that has made you is hard to take. Hate is a strong word but I really didn’t want to be there.

“That is one of the reasons I didn’t sign the contracts they put on the table. It was not about money, it was about my happiness.”

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