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USM Alger forward Youcef Belaïli suspended two years for doping
The Algerian Football Federation announced today that USM Alger forward Youcef Belaïli has been suspended for two years from all competitions for testing positive for a controlled substance. The news comes less than a week before USMA’s crucial first leg semi-final encounter against Al-Hilal in the CAF Champions League, dealing a huge blow to the Algiers-based side chances.
According the Algerian FA, the player admitted to the doping offence in a hearing in front of the Federal Medical Commission and will not appeal against the suspension. FA president Mahfoud Kerbadj confirmed the information to the Algerian Press Agency (APS), stating “Belaïli tested positive for a banned substance and will be suspended for two years from all domestic and international competitions.”
The 23-year old Belaïli has been USM Alger’s most influential player since joining the club last season. This summer, he led the club to a record tying 15 points in the group stage of the CAF Champions League, scoring four goals and delivering three assists on the way. Domestically, he has also gotten his season of to a blistering start, with three goals in four appearances, with all three goals proving to be game winners.
Belaïli’s suspension will be a huge blow to USM Alger’s chances of lifting their first African final as they take on Al-Hilal of Sudan in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the coming weeks.