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CSKA Moscow to avoid UEFA suspension

CSKA Moscow will be able to continue playing in the Champions League despite two failed drugs tests.
CSKA Moscow will be able to continue playing in the Champions League despite two failed drugs tests.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CSKA Moscow will be allowed to take their place in the Champions League last 16
  • The Russian side have learned they will not be expelled over failed drugs tests
  • Defenders Alexei Berezutsky and Sergei Ignashevich both tested positive for a banned stimulant.

(CNN) -- CSKA Moscow will be allowed to take their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, after learning they will not be expelled over two failed drugs tests.

There were reports that the Russian club could be thrown out of the competition after defenders Alexei Berezutsky and Sergei Ignashevich both tested positive for a banned stimulant.

But the substance in question is on a list of "specified" stimulants, meaning the potential disqualification penalties in European governing body UEFA's regulations will not be invoked -- reports FIFA.com.

Such substances are regarded to be particularly susceptible to unintentional breaches of anti-doping policy.

The players claim to have taken Sudafed whilst suffering from colds on international duty recently. They returned positive tests after CSKA's 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 3.

Any punishments, if deemed necessary, will be in the form of sanctions against the players and not the club. A disciplinary hearing will take place on December 17 to review the matter.

A UEFA spokesman said: "In this case it is a specified substance so disqualification of the team does not apply, it is more the sanction of the players themselves."

CSKA qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League by defeating Besiktas 2-1 on Tuesday to finish second to United in Group B.

An official club statement said: "This situation has arisen in connection with the treatment of our players from a severe cold during their time with the national team, and not in any way with doping, which is also known by the relevant bodies within UEFA."