Two attacking players who ply their trade in the T&T Pro League were dropped from Dennis Lawrence's 23-man provisional squad in preparation for a mouth-watering international friendly encounter with Wales on March 20.
One of the players is a former national under-17 and 20 youth midfielder who made his international debut versus Curaçao in June 2015, while the other is a regular to the senior national team, who plays as a striker. Both were immediately dropped by the lanky coach, whose initiative it was, for random drug testing to be implemented when he assumed the position of T&T head coach.
It was initially rumoured that five players were found positive from the testing, but a source close to the football association confirmed that it was only two that had failed when tested
The squad, which consists of the country's top players such as goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, striker Shahdon Winchester, midfielder Nathan Lewis, Marvin Philip and striker Ataullah Guerra, is set to wing out on Sunday.
Yesterday new general secretary of the TTFA Camara David refuse to comment on the matter, saying the coach is expected to hold a press conference before the squad leaves, to address the media. David who replaced Justin Latapy-George, whose contract expired in November last year, said the football association has agreed to have just one voice on matters related to football, rather than having a number of people talk to the media.
"Lawrence will give all the information that is required at the press conference," David explained. Attempts to reach Lawrence were unsuccessful and it is unsure if any further action will be taken against the players by the football association or the clubs they represent.
All members of Senior Men’s National Team underwent mandatory medical testing on March 7th and 8th as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s anti-doping programme.
The tests were conducted by the TTFA’s Medical team at the Ato Boldon Stadium. The players have been addressed and a communication has gone out to their clubs. The TTFA will continue its anti-doping programme as necessary and preparations remain ongoing under head coach Dennis Lawrence as the team looks ahead to departing for Wales on Sunday for its international friendly on March 20th.
FIFA and CONCACAF’s regulations require compliance with anti-doping from all football associations internationally, and itself carries out the drug-testing in international competitions. The TTFA will continue its medical testing leading into upcoming international competitions such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup, CONCACAF Nations League and 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.