KYIV: Olexandr Rybka, Ukraine international goalkeeper of Shakhtar Donetsk, is set to miss Euro 2012 after being hit with a two-year ban by UEFA for failing a drugs test.
The club has issued a statement saying that the 24-year-old had tested positive for a banned substance after a November league match against FC Karpaty. An appeal is planned.
Shakhtar claimed Rybka, who was immediately suspended while UEFA considered the punishment, had innocently taken weight-loss pills, though admitted failing to consult club doctors.
Taking weightloss pills without consultation was the explanation offered by Manchester City’s Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure when he was suspended for six months last year after a dope-test failure.
The statement added: “From FC Shakhtar’s point of view, this is an extremely severe verdict which is not quite proportional to the footballer’s offence. In this regard, Shakhtar will lodge an appeal with the relevant bodies of UEFA.”
Rybka, born on April 10, 1987, in Kyiv, began his career with Kyiv Dynamo and played 50 times for Ukraine at youth and under-21 level before transferring to Shakhtar last year after a short loan spell with Obolon Kyiv. He was only 19 when he made his UEFA Champions League debut in a 5-1 defeat by Real in Madrid and has played once for the senior national team.
Better news for Shakhtar is that the club’s Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu has left hospital in Bucharest after injuries suffered when his car collided with a tram in Bucharest on January 8.
Lucescu, former Romania national teammanager, has also had spells with Internazionale and Galatasaray. He suffered a heart attack in 2009.
Shakhtar are one point behind leaders Dinamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian league which resumes in March after the winter break.