Argentine World Cup winner Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez gets 2-year ban after positive drug test

The former Sevilla FC player could lose his gold medal if the ban is confirmed

Qatar World Cup winner Alejandro “Papu” Gómez, 35, has been given a two-year ban after testing positive in an anti-doping control. The test was conducted before the 2022 World Cup, when Gómez was still a Sevilla FC player.

According to Spanish new site Relevo, who first broke the news, Gómez felt ill in November and took a dose of medication that had been prescribed to his kids. This took place days before the World Cup and was detected by a surprise drug testing done by the Spanish club. 

The case has been under study since then, but the player and club have only been informed recently. Gómez allegedly took the medication without consulting the team’s doctors. This weakens his grounds for a potential appeal, as rules state that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances must be consulted before using any medication.

Should the ban be confirmed, Gómez will lose his World Cup-winning medal, as the World Anti-Doping Code states that titles and accolades obtained after a positive sample is collected are automatically voided. He would also lose the 2023 Europa League title he won with Sevilla.

Argentina’s Qatar title, however, will not be removed, given that rules require that more than two players to be flagged for team sanctions. Gómez is the only Argentine player to win the Qatar World Cup who hasn’t played with the national team since.

Gómez struggled to find a new club after having his Sevilla contract rescinded in September. He received a proposal from a Saudi Arabia team, but eventually turned it down. “I looked for the team’s home city on a map and saw that it was in the middle of a desert. I thought ‘Thanks, but I’m not taking my kids there’,” Gómez told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport about the offer he received. At the end of that month, it was announced that he’d be signing a one-year deal with Italian side AC Monza.


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