CS Marítimo midfielder Daniel Kenedy will be free to resume his playing career at the start of next season after the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) reduced his suspension for a failed drugs test by five months.
The FPF's Justice Committee has commuted the 18-month ban handed to the 28-year-old last November by five months on appeal. Kenedy, who has been barred from playing since being thrown out of Portugal's 2002 FIFA World Cup squad on the eve of the finals, will now be able to return to action in pre-season 2003/04.
The player, whose suspension was due to end next December, said before the ruling: "I hope the matter can be resolved quickly and that justice is done. I have been out of the game for eight months now. I am hoping the punishment will be reduced so I can get back to doing what I like best."
The uncapped Kenedy was a surprise inclusion in the Portugal squad for Korea/Japan but missed his opportunity of an international debut after testing positive for a banned substance during a training camp in Macau. He was sent home in disgrace and was subsequently banned by the FPF after two further samples produced positive results.
Plea of innocence
Before the ban was ratified two months ago, Kenedy said he had been taking a dietary product which may have been the cause of the failed test. "
I want to make it clear that I never willingly took a banned product," he said. "I don't take drugs, I just took a dietary substance as I have a tendency to put on weight. Anyone who knows me knows that I would never take anything that is banned."
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