Nothing is ever straightforward. On Monday, Alexis Sánchez was in Liverpool, clearing up the admin around his work permit ahead of his move to Manchester United. Which meant that, when the FA’s drugs testers arrived at Arsenal’s training ground and asked him to fill their cup, he wasn’t available.
This story originated in Spain, but has since been confirmed by Arsene Wenger. According to the Arsenal boss:
It is just a bad day for him to be tested. Honestly, on the administration side it would still be our responsibility because he had not moved. I don’t know what really happened. I am quite relaxed because we have nothing to hide here, we always try our best to cooperate with doping control. The intention of Alexis was not to hide and we have nothing to hide.
The responsibility he’s referring to is one for the club, who have to let the FA know when training sessions are being held and where their players are going to be. A breach of the rules is only considered to have taken place where three such violations occur in a single year, and both Manchester City and Bournemouth were fined last year.
Slaps on the wrist all round, then. Though it does lead to an intriguing hypothetical question: would you rather be sitting in a office waiting for the heavy wheels of bureaucracy to grind out your future, or gulping down water in an attempt to fill a plastic tube, while a doctor yawns and checks his watch? Ah, the indignities of professional football. It’s not all Instagram and free clothes.