Manchester United’s Phil Jones banned for verbally abusing anti-doping officer
Phil Jones has been banned for two matches and Daley Blind fined by Uefa after the Manchester United pair were found guilty of breaching the governing body’s doping regulations after the Europa League final in May.
Jones was understood to have been verbally abusive towards a doping control officer after he was requested to attend drug-testing after the final in Stockholm on 24 May and will miss the Uefa Super Cup match against Real Madrid next week and United’s first Champions League group stage match in September. He has also been fined €5,000 (£4,475).
It is understood Blind was reluctant to take a test as requested because he wanted to celebrate with his team-mates, whose 2-0 victory over Ajax ensured their qualification for this season’s Champions League. He was fined €5,000.
It is understood Jones was upset to have missed out on a squad photograph taken after the match paying tribute to victims of the Manchester terrorist attack earlier in the week. He expressed this disappointment to officials at the time.
Blind did feature on that photograph and did join in some of the celebrations, accompanied by a chaperone. This is permitted in other competitions but was not the case in this instance. It is understood he did not realise he had done anything wrong until reaching doping control.
There is no suggestion that either player was guilty of doping. Blind played the full 90 minutes against his old club Ajax, while Jones was an unused substitute.
United have been fined €10,000 over the rule breaches. The club are understood to be aware of Uefa’s decisions and have three days to appeal. They have not commented on the matter and no decisions have been taken on whether appeals will be made against any of the decisions.
José Mourinho’s defensive options in Europe had already been depleted after Uefa gave Eric Bailly an additional two-match ban for his sending-off against Celta Vigo in the Europa League.
The Ivorian was suspended for the final and now also misses the Super Cup and the opening Champions League match. Mourinho increased United’s depth at the back by signing the Sweden international Victor Lindelof from Benfica.