Kiev - Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu admitted he
went against UEFA's wishes in fielding midfielder Fred in Tuesday's Champions
League qualifier despite being aware of a possible doping violation hanging
over the Brazilian international.
According to reports in his native Brazil, the 22-year-old
had tested positive for a banned diuretic at the recent Copa America in Chile
and faces a lengthy ban from the game should his second sample confirm the
Lucescu, however, opted to start the midfielder in Tuesday's
0-0 draw at Fenerbahce in the first leg of their Champions League third
qualifying round, dismissing UEFA's concerns while claiming he had yet to
receive confirmation of any violation.
Also read: Shakhtar return to Istanbul, Monaco tackle Young Boys
"Before the game, UEFA advised us not to include him but
we had not received any official documents and this was just a verbal
recommendation," the Romanian told reporters after the match in Istanbul.
"There is no specific statement on this matter for now
and we are still waiting for the results of the B sample," he added.
"I have talked to the team and the player personally.
When the official decision arrives, of course, we will stick to it."
Called up for the injured Luiz Gustavo, Fred played in
Brazil's opening two fixtures at the June-July Copa America against Peru and
Colombia but was dropped for the final group game against Venezuela and
quarter-final defeat to Paraguay.
Lucescu believes the banned substance, the masking agent
hydrochlorothiazide, could have been administered to the midfielder when he was
on international duty.
"It is very hard to say what really happened. I guess
the Brazil team doctor should be responsible for things like that," the
"I do not think a guy who can run 13 km per game needs
pills but I will avoid commenting on the issue further until the results of the
second test are known.
"However, it would be very sad if such a young player
is suspended for some time."
Shakhtar host Fenerbahce in the second leg of their tie on
Aug. 5 with the winners advancing to the Champions League playoff round for a
place in the group stage of the lucrative tournament.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.