Four weeks before the World Cup, Costa Rica defender Orlando Galo has been suspended by FIFA after testing positive for an anabolic steroid and is set to miss the tournament.
FIFA said Saturday that Galo “has been provisionally suspended and the usual procedure has been opened.”
FIFA gave no timetable to prosecute the disciplinary case with the 22-year-old Galo facing a ban of up to four years. He currently plays for Costa Rican club Herediano.
Costa Rica’s first World Cup game is against Spain on Nov. 23, and it then plays Japan and Germany in Group E in Qatar.
The Costa Rican soccer federation said Galo tested positive for the steroid clostebol in samples taken last month in South Korea where the team played two warm-up games. The federation said 15 players in the squad gave samples.
FIFA’s World Cup regulations state “every player may be subject to in-competition testing at the matches in which he competes and to out-of-competition testing at any time and in any place.”
Galo was an unused substitute when Costa Rica qualified for the World Cup in June by beating New Zealand in a playoff in Doha.