June 22, 2024
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Halifax Wanderers Joao Morelli

Joao Morelli Tested Positive For Doping In 2023

By on June 11, 2024 0 753 Views

Former Halifax Wanderers talisman Joao Morelli has been handed an 18-month ban following a doping violation revealed to have taken place last year.

The 28-year-old Brazilian retired last November and is not expected to return to sport. After overcoming a long-term knee injury, he tallied four goals in nine games last season before being sidelined one last time and hanging up his boots.

The anti-doping agency states that a urine sample collecting out-of-competition on August 6, 2023 came back positive for clomiphene metabolites, which is a prohibited hormone and metabolic modulator. In male athletes, it can stimulate endogenous testosterone production.

Halifax Wanderers Joao Morelli
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The month of August saw Morelli tally three goals in four games following the positive result, with the Brazilian making two more appearances in September before ending his career through injury.

He suited up 43 times for the Halifax Wanderers since signing in 2020, recording 24 goals and two assists throughout all competitions. The 2021 CPL season saw him pick up both CPL MVP Award and a golden boot trophy following a fourteen-goal haul. He remains the club’s all-time top goalscorer.

Morelli did not dispute the anti-doping violation within the organization’s timeline to do so, meaning he cannot appeal the sanction – which runs through to November 7, 2025 – even if he wanted to. Given that he is now retired, however, his ban seems a fairly moot point.

Valour FC Marcello Polisi Joao Morelli
Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan / Halifax Wanderers FC

Morelli becomes the second Halifax Wanderers athlete to receive a doping violation ban, with Ludwig Amla receiving one in 2023 for a violation that occurred a year prior. York United’s De Rosario also received a one-month ban for ingesting an edible the year prior.

On average, all three of the bans handed to CPL athletes from within the Canadian Anti-Doping Program have come 315 days after their positive test results.

Born in Itu, Brazil, Joao Morelli returned to his homeland following his retirement with a focus on raising his young family.

Source: Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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