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Moroccan player given six-month suspension for banned substance


Morocco’s Abourazzouk Hamza plays the ball against Mali during their friendly match in Marrakech on March 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

It’s been a World Cup qualification cycle of suspensions and punishments for ineligible players in Africa. On Thursday, FIFA announced another one: Morocco’s Hamza Abourazzouk was suspended six months for failing a drug test.

The Raja Casablanca striker tested positive for carboxy-THC, according to a FIFA press release, which is a banned cannabinoid under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. In other words, Abourazzouk received a suspension for consuming marijuana.

His failed test came after Morocco’s 2-1 win over Tanzania on June 8. The suspension runs six months, beginning on Aug. 28, the date on which he was provisionally suspended. Abourazzouk will not be able to play in any domestic, international or friendly games until Feb. 28, 2014.

Morocco finished in second place in Group C, behind group winner Ivory Coast, which advanced to the final round. Abourazzouk played in five matches in qualifying, scoring against the Ivory Coast on June 9, 2012, to tie the match in the 89th minute.

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