St Kilda have confirmed that Ahmed Saad has received an 18-month suspension from the AFL Tribunal after taking a substance from the code’s anti-doping prohibited list.
The forward pocket received a provisional suspension backdated to 20 August, meaning he will be eligible to play again in February 2015.
In a statement the club said it would “continue to provide the appropriate welfare support and assistance to Ahmed”.
Saad had admitted to drinking a protein shake which contained a banned stimulant to which he tested positive in July.
Saad was delisted by St Kilda earlier this month, but he had apparently been hoping to be rookie-listed by the Saints. Given they cannot pay him and he cannot train at the club, that now seems unlikely.
In an earlier interview on the club’s website, Saad remained defiant, saying: “This doesn’t mean my footy career is over, whatsoever.”
Saad made his debut in Round 6, 2012, against Hawthorn at the MCG and has played 29 games for the club.
He was the first player of Egyptian background and only one of three Muslims to be on the AFL playing list.