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Saudi winger removed from World Cup squad over doping case

Winger Fahad al-Muwallad was cut ‘as a precaution’ due to an ongoing case for a positive test in February.

Fahad al-Muwallad will not travel to Qatar after he was cut from Saudi Arabia’s 26-man squad for the World Cup “as a precaution” due to the 28-year-old winger’s failed doping test in February.

Al-Muwallad, who has 17 international goals to his credit, had been included in the Green Falcons squad that coach Herve Renard announced for the tournament despite testing positive for furosemide. He is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned drugs due to concerns that he may mask other drugs.

But Saudi team officials said on Sunday they would sideline al-Muwallad, who plays for the Saudi team al-Shabab, “as a precaution” because there is still a case against him.

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Renard called on al-Muwallad’s al-Shabab teammate, Nawaf al-Abed, 32, to take his place.

Saudi Arabia face a tough task in Group C, opening their campaign on November 22 against Argentina, four days before playing Poland. Saudi Arabia’s final group match will be against Mexico on November 30.

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