Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu declared he will keep playing Brazil international Fred until the club receives “official documents” stating they are not allowed to.
Fred played a full 90 minutes for Shakhtar in their 3-0 second-leg victory over Fenerbahce in the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying on Wednesday, despite the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirming on Friday that the 22-year-old had failed a doping test.
Fenerbahce had appealed Fred’s involvement in the first leg in Turkey, which finished 0-0, but it was dismissed by UEFA because the game occurred before CBF’s official confirmation that the midfielder had tested positive for banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.
That could mean that UEFA will be less merciful now that Fred’s failed test at the Copa America has been made public, but Lucescu remained defiant at his post-match news conference.
“I learned the verdict in every language available: English, French… None of those regulations reads that he should be suspended automatically,” Lucescu said, according to Shakhtar’s website.
“We have received a document from CONMEBOL, which states that he is invited to Asuncion, Paraguay, on August 25, to express his opinion about what happened.
“Our site very clearly voiced the club’s position. Let’s see how long it will last. Again, we did not receive any letters saying that Fred has no right to take to the pitch. Until the official documents regarding him are made available, he will train and play together with us.”
Oleksandr Gladkiy, Dario Srna and Alex Teixeira scored for Shakhtar in Lviv as they advanced to the play-off round of Champions League qualifying, with the Ukrainian club set to play one of CSKA Moscow, Lazio, Club Brugge, Monaco and Rapid Vienna for a spot in the group stage.