Man City’s Champions League group just got that little bit easier.
Shahktar Donetsk captain Darijo Srna failed a drugs test at the weekend and will now miss the club’s Champions League game at the Etihad on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old is fighting to clear his name saying he never knowingly ingested any banned substances.
Srna will take a self-imposed break from football while he works through the situation, which includes the European clash with City tomorrow night.
The full-back was informed by Ukraine’s national anti-doping centre (NADCU) he had tested positive for a banned substance on Monday.
The Croatian veteran said: “First and most important, I would like to make it clear that I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any prohibited substance, nor unfairly intended to gain a competitive advantage.
“I am investigating the possible source of the substance and am co-operating fully with NADCU in this respect.
“In order to focus on my defence and avoid any undue distractions for the team, I have made the decision to refrain from playing until the on-going legal proceedings have been resolved.
“I will now be focused entirely on clearing my name and reputation.
“Over the course of my entire career I was always under the impression that I had to persistently prove myself over and over again.
“Today is another such example when I will once again prove that everything I have accomplished, thus far, both in my life and my professional career, has been achieved solely through hard work, integrity, discipline, and honesty above all.”
“This is not the end of my career, I can promise you that.”
Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk revealed while Srna was not banned from playing, they respect the player’s self-imposed suspension during the proceedings.
The statement from the club read: “The club respects and supports Darijo’s decision and is confident that the player will clear his name.
“At the same time, FC Shakhtar Donetsk considers the use of doping in sport unacceptable.”
Srna is a legend in Ukraine having devoted 14 years of service to Shakhtar.
He’s won nine league titles, seven Ukrainian Cups and one UEFA Cup with the club.