Juninho says reputation tainted by drug charges

Rio de Janeiro: Former Brazil international midfielder Juninho says he has had his name unfairly tainted after being cleared of drug charges by a Brazilian sports tribunal.

The Vasco da Gama free-kick specialist was found not guilty of breaching the World Anti-Doping Code by failing to provide a test sample directly after leaving the pitch during a match last month, reports from a news agency.

"I feel like I have been morally punished for having to come here and explain something I did not do," said the former star of French top-flight outfit Lyon.

"My reputation has been stained in France because it has been linked to doping, something that I have never done. It`s disappointing to have to explain to everybody what happened."

Juninho, capped 47 times for Brazil, was accused of violating the drug code after visiting his side`s changing room before providing a urine sample after Vasco`s away fixture to Ponte Preta Sep 23.

Vasco doctor Albino Pinto later explained the 37-year-old had returned to the rooms to pick up his bag to avoid being late for a connecting flight.

It was initially thought Juninho could receive a two-year ban, the maximum penalty for the charges.

Despite Juninho`s acquittal, Vasco was fined $1,500 for "failing to adhere to its legal obligation of complying with competition rules".

IANS

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close