Darijo Srna could miss Shakhtar Donetsk’s clash with Napoli in November as he will take a break from football to clear his name over doping allegations.
Reports earlier in the week suggested Srna had failed a drug test, but while the right-back confirmed the results may have been true, he made it clear he had not taken any banned substances knowingly.
“On 18 September 2017, I was notified by the National Anti-Doping Centre of Ukraine (NADCU) that a prohibited substance was reportedly found in an out-of-competition sample I had provided on 22 March 2017,” he told the Ukrainians’ official website.
“Firstly and most importantly, I would like to make it clear that I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any prohibited substance, nor unfairly intended to gain a competitive advantage.
“I made the decision to refrain myself from playing until the ongoing legal proceedings have been resolved.
“I will now be focused entirely on clearing my name and reputation. Over the course of my entire career I was always under the impression that I had to persistently prove myself over and over again.
“Today is another such example when I will once again prove that everything I have accomplished, thus far, both in my life and my professional career, has been achieved solely through hard work, integrity, discipline, and honesty above all.
“These are the principles which were instilled in me by my late father, and are the same principles by which I am raising my own children today.
“Due to the confidentiality of the legal proceedings, I am not able to comment any further at this stage.
“I would like to thank first of all my family, the Club and our loyal Fans for their continual support in this matter and look forward to being back on the pitch as soon as possible.
“This is not the end of my career, I can promise you that!”
The 35-year-old helped Shakhtar beat Napoli 2-1 in the Champions League last week.
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