Joao Pedro suspended after Cagliari star fails drugs test

A provisional suspension for failing a drugs test was probably not the birthday surprise Cagliari midfielder Joao Pedro had in mind.

Cagliari midfielder Joao Pedro   -  Getty Images

Cagliari's Joao Pedro has been handed a provisional suspension after failing a drugs test, Italy's national anti-doping agency NADO has confirmed.

The Brazilian attacking midfielder tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide after Cagliari's goalless draw at Sassuolo in Serie A on February 11.

Joao Pedro has impressed for Diego Lopez's relegation-threatened side this season, scoring five times in 19 top-flight starts and regularly wearing the captain's armband.

News of the positive test proved a particularly unwelcome birthday present, coming hours after Cagliari tweeted to give their best wishes to Joao Pedro for turning 26.

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