Cyprus Mail

Footballers’ injections ‘surely illegal’ (updated)

The case of intravenous administration of unknown substances to two Alki footballers is surely illegal, chairman of the footballers’ association (Pasp) Spyros Neophytides said on Friday.

“The procedure surely does not seem to be legal,” Neophytides said, speaking on state broadcaster CyBC, “however there will be developments on the case, should police carry out their job properly.

“The only issue is that the players should not have accepted the injection if they did not know what the substance was,” Neophytides added, “and once they did accept it, they should have reported the matter immediately.”

The Cyprus Football Association (CFA) requested on Friday to be officially informed by Pasp regarding allegations by two footballers playing for top division Alki that their health may have been affected by intravenous injections administered by the club.

The Cyprus anti-doping authority said on Friday that it will not be getting involved in the case until official complaints are received by them, or until police investigations reveal that there was indeed doping involved.

Panayiotis Frangeskou, 27, and Panayiotis Loizides, 23, asked police on Thursday to investigate whether recently discovered identical heart problems that forced them to quit the game were a result of intravenous injections containing unknown substances administered to them by the club officials during the previous season.

Media sources claim that in their statements to police, the players named the person who administered the substance.

The two Alki players were forced to retire from professional football a few days ago after being diagnosed as suffering from the same heart condition that could place their lives at risk if they continued playing.

Relevant legislation rules that any substance administered intravenously must be done so by a doctor.
Alki chairman Andys Loppas, who is currently abroad, denied any wrongdoing and said that the club will hold a news conference next week where all questions will be answered.

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