Soccer player Ubogagu banned for unintentional doping breach

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. doping / ˈdoʊ pɪŋ / (n.) – the illegal use of drugs to enhance an athlete’s performance

    Athletes who test positive for doping will be suspended from the game.

  2. provisionally / prəˈvɪʒ ə nə li / (adv.) – in a manner that is true for the moment but could change

    The request was approved provisionally in April.

  3. verdict / ˈvɜr dɪkt / (n.) – a decision made after an investigation or trial

    The members of the jury will give their verdict today.

  4. breach / britʃ / (n.) – a violation or act of breaking a legal agreement

    The artist is facing a lawsuit for a breach of contract.

  5. diligent / ˈdɪl ɪ dʒənt / (adj.) – careful and showing a lot of effort

    Pam’s classmates admire her because she’s a diligent student.


Read the text below.

English soccer player Chioma Ubogagu is serving a nine-month suspension for failing a doping test after medication for a skin condition contained a prohibited substance.

Ubogagu, who scored on her England debut in 2018, joined Women’s Super League team Tottenham last year. She was initially provisionally suspended in January but details of the case and verdict were announced only on Thursday.

Canrenone, a masking agent, was detected in an out-of-competition test in October. It was in anti-acne tablets that Ubogagu had been prescribed by her dermatologist in Texas where she played for the Houston Dash in 2018.

In 2012, then-United States goalkeeper Hope Solo received only a public warning from the United States Anti-Doping Agency after Canrenone was detected in her urine test.

An English Football Association regulatory commission found there were no intentional doping rule breaches by Ubogagu to improve performances and that she was taking the medication for a recognized condition.

“I want to make clear that the medication had no performance-enhancing effects for me, but I still made the mistake of not being as diligent as possible, and as a result I am unable to play the game I love until I serve my suspension,” Ubogagu said in a statement. “While my dermatologist is aware of my profession, it is also my responsibility to know more about the medications I am prescribed.”

Ubogagu can’t play again until October.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • A regulatory commission found there were no intentional doping rule breaches by Ubogagu, but she was still given a nine-month suspension. Do you think the suspension was reasonable? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • How do you think this incident will affect Ubogagu’s career (ex. she’ll receive fewer opportunities, she’ll gain the sympathy of fans)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Although doping drugs are generally banned, some of them have legitimate medical uses (ex. for the treatment of kidney disease). Should athletes who take these drugs be allowed to compete? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, should patients rely on doctors to share all the necessary information about a medication (ex. what it contains, its effects), or should they take the initiative to do their research? Why? Discuss.