Cagliari forward Joao Pedro banned for 6 months for doping

ROME — Cagliari forward Joao Pedro has been suspended for six months after testing positive for a banned substance.

Joao Pedro had already been temporarily suspended on March 3 after the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide was found in his system following Cagliari's 0-0 draw with Sassuolo 0-0 on Feb. 11.

The Brazilian, who returned during Sunday's 1-0 win at Fiorentina, said he had ingested it unknowingly, probably through a contaminated substance following an error from one of his medics.

The prosecutor had requested a four-year ban but he was only suspended until September after a hearing on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Joao Pedro will miss Cagliari's final match of the season at home to Atalanta on Sunday. The Sardinian side is just one point above the relegation zone.

Joao Pedro signed a new contract at the start of the season but has had a mixed campaign and was suspended for four matches for simulation and stamping on an opponent during a match against Fiorentina at the end of December.

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