Wanderers Striker Ludwig Amla Gets Two-Year Ban For Doping Violation
Fans wondering why Halifax Wanderers forward Ludwig Amla was still on the roster despite not featuring on a team sheet all season now have their answer.
The 22-year-old striker has received a two-year suspension for an anti-doping violation pertaining to the asthmatic medication he had used via inhaler.
The official report from the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada states that Amla had been using Bricanyl as a way of treating his asthma. The substance is prohibited per Canadian doping rules as it contains the active ingredient of terbutaline, for which Amla tested positive for in urine a sample obtained on September 10, 2022.
While the report was just published today, the two-year suspension was enforced on the date of the original decision on July 4, 2023. As the court will count the time between the CCES notice of charge and the date of its initial decision as a provision suspension period, that means his suspension will remain in place until February 7, 2025.
Arbitrator Richard Pound determined that Amla was negligent in failing to disclose his usage of Bricanyl, which was prescribed to him during a period in Europe that preceded his signing with Halifax.
During an earlier medical examination with his club, Amla stated that the team physician had handled the inhaler and was aware of it – something denied by the physician himself, with the court accepting the version of events from the latter.
The results of his initial medical exam noted that he should be followed up regarding his asthma, but this consultation never took place.
It was noted that the team physician told Amla he would have to check regarding the compliance of his active medications, and the player did view a CCES presentation regarding personal responsibility for ensuring ingested items did not contain prohibited substances just days later.
The length of his suspension would have defaulted to four years but for an appeal process that saw it reduced to two, with the arbitrator essentially saying Amla was negligent, but not malicious, in his usage of the banned substance.
“It was Amla’s personal responsibility to avoid using prohibited substances and to take steps to discover whether his medication contained any such substances,” said Richard Pound, who also stated that his team entourage should have seen to it that Amla took that step.
He also described the events as negligent on the part of the club, resulting in unnecessary prejudice to Amla – particularly as they did not advise him to accept a provisional suspension period when he tested positive, though the court graced him this time regardless. If it hadn’t, his ban would run through to the summer of July 4, 2025 rather than February 7, 2025.
The striker had made eight appearances for Halifax last season but never found the scoresheet in that time. The club brought him in last August after a short trial period, with the six-foot-four striker having previously played professionally with Macedonian top flight side Makedonija Gorce Petrov and PLSQ side CS St-Hubert.
Amla’s currently deal runs through the 2023 CPL season he is now barred from, with a club option for a 2024 he would miss as well.
Header Image Photo Credit: Audrey Magny