The Australian Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) yesterday evening confirmed that former Socceroo and A-League champion Stan Lazaridis has been asked by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to explain a positive sample he has returned following a recent drug test.

Speaking on behalf of Lazaridis, PFA Executive Chairman Brendan Schwab said Stan’s case is simply one of a player having taken medication prescribed by his medical practitioners to address a recognised medical condition.

“Stan has for some time suffered from a medical condition diagnosed as alopecia which has caused him serious discomfort.  Finasteride, the medicine prescribed by Stan’s medical practitioners, contains a prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) Code as it may act as a masking agent for other substances, although not at the levels to which Stan was prescribed or tested.

“In November 2005, Stan applied to the authorities recognised by ASADA for permission to take the medicine, which was ultimately granted in January 2007 after Stan had retired from international football and returned to Australia.

“Stan was tested by ASADA in November.

“Stan’s situation is simply one of unfortunate timing and the bureaucracy needing to service a professional athlete who plies his trade throughout the world.  He has advised the relevant authorities since 2005 of his medical circumstances, and those authorities have accepted the legitimacy of his medical condition and the prescribed medical treatment.

“Stan enjoys the full support of the PFA and his club, Perth Glory.  With our assistance, Stan has engaged Senior Legal Counsel to represent him, and will conduct himself in this manner in keeping with the high standards of professionalism and sportsmanship he has demonstrated throughout his illustrious career.”