Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo could face a two-year ban after his early exit from the Allianz Stadium on Monday, according to former Italy striker Antonio Cassano.
The Portuguese superstar walked off the pitch and straight down the tunnel after being substituted early in the second half against AC Milan. The forward appeared upset with manager Maurizio Sarri and mutter something angrily under his breath as he walked off.
Cassano – who enjoyed spells at Milan and Real Madrid, among others – was drawing on his own experiences and warned Ronaldo he could have violated anti-doping regulations
“Did he leave before the end of the game?” Cassano asked on Italian television show Tika-Taka. “You can’t do that because there is an anti-doping control.” The 37-year-old likened Ronaldo’s experience to his own when he left the Stadio Olimpico early while representing Roma.
“I had to go back to the stadium urgently to avoid a two-year ban,” said Cassano who opted for an early exit during the match against arch rivals Lazio.
Sarri said he understood the forward’s frustration and insisted there was ‘no problem’ and explained his decision to substitute Ronaldo was down to an injury.
“Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia after the 1-0 win over Milan. “It is affecting his performances and he is not at his best at the moment.
“He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off.”
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