December 15, 2015 / 7:00 PM / 3 years ago

Younger Fred banned by CONMEBOL for a year over drug use

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil midfielder Fred, no relation to the veteran striker of the same name who used to play for the same country, has been suspended from South American soccer for a year for failing a drugs test.

The 22-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk player tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide during the Copa America in June, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Tuesday.

The suspension runs until June 27, 2016 and will only apply to games sanctioned by CONMEBOL.

He can continue playing for Ukrainian club Shakhtar, who were drawn on Monday to meet Schalke 04 in the last 32 of the Europa League, unless world soccer’s ruling body FIFA decides to extend the ban.

The 32-year-old Fred, who plays for Fluminense, represented Brazil at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups and won a total of 39 caps.

The younger Fred has made six appearances for his country.

A surprise choice in the squad, he started Brazil’s first two games at the Copa America, a 2-1 win over Peru and a 1-0 defeat by Colombia.

The midfielder was dropped for the third match, a 2-1 victory over Venezuela, and also missed the penalty shootout defeat by Paraguay in the quarter-finals.

Reporting by Daniela Desantis, writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Tony Jimenez

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