In the doping case of HSV professional Mario Vuskovic, the DFB sports court has ended the first day of negotiations after testimonies and evidence have been taken. After the four-hour meeting on February 3 at the German Football Association, it is unclear whether the verdict in this case will be pronounced on February 9.

As the sports court chairman Stephan Oberholz announced, the process could take longer if “some slight doubts” remain and not everything can be completely clarified.

Tested positive for Epo

The 21-year-old Croatian defender for the second division club Hamburger SV tested positive for the blood doping agent erythropoietin (Epo) during a doping control on September 16, 2022 and was provisionally banned. “I want to prove my innocence,” said Vuskovic at the beginning of the testimony, in which he mainly reported on the course of the doping test.

His lawyers tried to raise doubts as to whether everything was correct and according to the control regulations or whether the urine samples could even have been mixed up. Vuskovic was at the test with teammate Xavier Amaechi.

Vuskovic also stated that he had not been informed about the rights during a check and that he could not grasp the content of the test form because it was only written in German: “I speak Croatian and did not understand it.” Doping control officer Markus Jungblut assured that the test procedure had been followed, but that there was no explicit explanation about the control process.

No abnormalities in tests of HSV

The head team doctor of HSV, Götz Welsch, explained that before and after the positive test, no abnormalities or indications of manipulation were analyzed in three to four blood samples taken by HSV at Vuskovic. The 14-time U21 national player of his country is “a healthy, exemplary athlete”.

In all health checks, not “much pathology” was found. “There are few players like Mario who are so differentiated and intelligent. He is interested in what is being taken and what is being done therapeutically,” said Welsch. “He’s what you want a player to be. He doesn’t put up with everything.”