Just weeks after returning to Italian football to join Serie A side Monza, news that Alejandro Papu Gomez had been handed a two-year ban from football by FIFA came as a surprise. Monza confirmed the news that Gomez had been punished for allegedly consuming a banned substance.

It has been reported that Gomez returned biological samples that showed terbutaline was present, dating back to the beginning of the 2022/23 season and before the 2022 World Cup. Gomez was part of the Argentina squad that would go on to be crowned world champions in December 2022, starting in their first group game and in their round-of-16 win over Australia.

Gomez argues that the substance terbutaline is permitted for use by professional athletes and is not a performance-enhancing drug.

Gomez was a Sevilla player at the time of the test. He left the Spanish side by mutual consent in September 2023 before joining Monza on a free transfer.

Alejandro Papu Gomez with Adriano Galliani upon signing for Monza. (@ACMonza)

Papu Gomez handed two-year ban from football

AC Monza announces that it has received today – October 20 2023 – from FIFA, through the FIGC, notification of the first-degree sentence of the Spanish Anti-Doping Commission, issued against the footballer Alejandro Dario Gomez,” read Monza‘s statement as the news broke. 

“The sentence includes a two-year disqualification from sporting activities. This was a drug taken to calm a bronchospasm crisis, in October 2022, when the player was a member of Sevilla FC

AC Monza reserves the right to evaluate the next procedural steps.”

Papu Gomez responds to two-year ban

Gomez, no longer able to train with Monza, responded to the news of his ban on social media with a statement of his own. He confirmed that his lawyers were looking into the case.

“I confirm that I received word from the Spanish anti-doping commission that my licence is suspended for a period of two years,” Gomez‘s statement began. “I always not just rigorously respected all the rules, but also stood up as a strong defender of clean sport and sporting behaviour, condemning categorically any forms of doping.

“I never, nor do I intend to, relied on a banned practice. The presumed violation originates from the presence of Terbutaline in my system, which I accidentally ingested with a spoonful of cough syrup for my son, to alleviate his cough. It is important to specify that Terbutaline is allowed for professional athletes and in no way does it improve performance in football.

“Without getting into the situation, I have asked my lawyers to look into the suggestion the disciplinary case was not treated according to the norms. I finally wish to thank all those who showed me affection and support during these difficult moments of my professional life.”