Football: Stoke's Saido Berahino blames spiked drink for ban

Stoke City striker Saido Berahino said he had never taken drugs and that the levels found in his body were "really low".
Stoke City striker Saido Berahino said he had never taken drugs and that the levels found in his body were "really low".PHOTO: REUTERS

ENGLAND (REUTERS) - Stoke City striker Saido Berahino said on Thursday he served an eight-week drugs suspension earlier this season after someone spiked his drink in a nightclub.

Berahino joined Stoke in January for a reported £12 million (S$20.9 million) from West Bromwich Albion, having been frozen out at his former club since September 2016.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis had said repeatedly that the striker was not playing because of a lack of fitness.

"I still don't know who would do this to me," Berahino said in an interview with the BBC. "To be banned for something you haven't done is hard to take."

Berahino said he had never taken drugs and that the levels found in his body were "really low".

The former England under-21 striker admitted that he had been in a nightclub "so I hold my hand up for being irresponsible".

After the 23-year-old joined Stoke, manager Mark Hughes said Berahino had been suspended for an Football Association disciplinary matter.

British newspaper reports said he had failed an out-of-competition drugs test.