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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Saido Berahino served an 8-week ban for recreational drug use while at West Brom

The Stoke City striker served a secret FA suspension and spent time training at a fitness camp in France.

Image: Joe Giddens

NEW STOKE CITY signing Saido Berahino failed a drugs test for recreational drug use in September and served an eight week suspension, according to a report.

The 23-year-old didn’t play for West Brom, or their U23 side, between 20 September and 12 December due to the secret Football Association ban which made him ineligible to play for the club during that period.

The Daily Mail reported that Berahino spent time training alone at a fitness camp in France after failing the out-of-competition test.

As it was a recreational drug the forward tested positive for, he wasn’t subject to the World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions.

The FA doping regulations consider it worthy of a punishment although they have a policy of not naming the offending players, instead helping them find a recovery programme.

The Mail added that Stoke were aware of the suspension, which has been served in full, prior to signing Berahino last month.

“We’re aware of it clearly. It was an FA disciplinary matter,” said Potters boss Mark Hughes.

“Saido had an eight week suspension, I don’t think it was three months. We were aware of it.

“We did our due diligence as with all players, but it didn’t change our thinking of what we wanted to do.

“We’ve got him in the building now, and he’s looking forward to the game tomorrow. We’ll play him, why wouldn’t we?

“You’d probably have to refer this back to West Brom. We’re not in a position to give much more detail.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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