Sofia: Three CSKA Sofia players have been suspended for three months after testing positive for a banned stimulant last year, the Bulgarian Olympic Committee (BOC) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Midfielder Todor Yanchev, the 31-times Bulgarian champions` captain, and defenders Kostadin Stoyanov and Rumen Trifonov tested positive for methylhexanamine after CSKA`s 1-0 league win over city rivals Levski on October 28.
Last month, team doctor Milcho Kraynov was sacked by CSKA after revealing he gave the stimulant to the players to help them lose weight, without consulting the club.
The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) banned Kraynov from working as the team doctor for an unspecified period.
The 35-year-old Yanchev, capped 32 times by Bulgaria, has won three league titles with CSKA in the last eight years while Stoyanov, 25, has been a regular member of the national squad in the last year.
The BOC`s disciplinary commission said the start of the bans had been backdated to December 23 when the players were provisionally suspended.
The ruling means the trio will miss only four league games and will be available for CSKA`s match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on March 24.
CSKA said they would not appeal.
"We can see far more severe bans in other sports, so we should accept this one," CSKA coach Dimitar Penev told local media.
The league resumes on February 25 after a three-month winter break with surprise package Ludogorets top with 36 points, ahead of CSKA on goal difference.