Soccer-Bulgarian Pavlov gets two-year ban for doping

SOFIA, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Lokomotiv Sofia midfielder Nikolay Pavlov has been banned for two years by European soccer’s governing body UEFA after he failed a drugs test, the club said on Thursday.

Pavlov, who will turn 21 next month, tested positive for testosterone or its precursors after the UEFA Cup’s preliminary round match against Serbian side Borac Cacak on Aug. 14 in Smederevo, which Lokomotiv lost 1-0.

Lokomotiv said that the analysis of the B sample confirmed the presence of the banned substance in Pavlov’s urine last week.

“The club will not be punished,” Lokomotiv’s chief executive Ivo Tonev told reporters. “However, the player said he will appeal the sanction.”

Tonev said that Lokomotiv were not to blame for the positive test after Pavlov admitted he took medicines without consulting the club doctors.

Last year, UEFA reported a fall in doping cases, with just three positive tests from more than 1,600 players.

Bulgarian sport has been marred by several doping scandals in recent years with top track and field athletes and weightlifters among the offenders. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Martin Petty)