Hapoel Beersheba defender Shir Tzedek could face a lengthy suspension after failing a drug test following a Champions League qualifier earlier this season..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Beersheba and Israel national team defender Shir Tzedek is in danger of being handed a lengthy suspension after announcing on Tuesday that UEFA had informed him that he had tested positive for a banned substance following a Champions League qualifier earlier this season.
According to Tzedek and Hapoel Beersheba owner Alona Barkat, who sat by his side during Tuesday’s hastily convened press conference, UEFA didn’t specify what substance triggered the positive result, and they are waiting to receive the full details together with the results of his B sample.
Tzedek could be suspended for up to four years, although similar cases from the past suggest he will not be banned for more than two years.
Beersheba is hoping he can avoid a suspension altogether, with Barkat saying that a food supplement was likely responsible for the banned substance entering Tzedek’s body. She lent her unwavering support to the 28-year-old who has played for Beersheba since 2015.
“I want to emphasize that we fully trust Shir. He is a charming, reliable and honest person,” said Barkat. “We all believe in him and in his innocence and will stand beside him the entire way.”
Tzedek didn’t fly out with the rest of the squad ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic. He will, however, travel with Barkat to the Czech Republic and cheer his teammates from the stands.
“I have been approved all the supplements I take and I can’t explain what happened,” said Tzedek. “I don’t believe in shortcuts and this is difficult to accept.
I hope everything will be okay.”
In other news, Israel national team striker Tomer Hemed and his club Brighton have decided to contest the violent conduct charge he faces from the English Football Association.
Hemed scored the only goal in Brighton’s 1-0 win over Newcastle in Premier League action on Sunday. However, the Israeli was later involved in a clash with DeAndre Yedlin, and appeared to stamp on the Newcastle defender’s leg.
The Football Association subsequently charged Hemed with “an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.”
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