Hughes confirms Berahino served an eight-week ban
The 23-year-old striker had not played for West Brom since September 10 when he made a January switch to Stoke City, partly due to a suspension
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that Saido Berahino served an eight-week ban over an “FA disciplinary issue” towards the end of his time at West Brom, amid reports that the striker tested positive for a recreational substance.
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Berahino left the Hawthorns to join Stoke for a reported £12 million during the January transfer window, having played his last game for the Baggies on September 10.
The 23-year-old was said to have been sent to a fitness camp in France by West Brom boss Tony Pulis in the intervening period after struggling with his weight.
However, a report in the Daily Mail claims that Berahino’s absence from both the senior and Under-23 sides was down to a Football Association (FA) suspension following a failed out-of-competition test.
Hughes confirmed his knowledge of the ban but did not elaborate on the circumstances.
“We are aware of it clearly – there was an FA disciplinary matter and Saido had an eight-week suspension,” the Potters boss told reporters on Friday ahead of a match between the two clubs. “We were aware of that before we signed him.
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“In terms of more detail, you would probably need to refer back to his former club. We aren’t in a position to give any more details as we don’t have them. He had issues at his previous club for 18 months, which this is obviously a part of.
“As with all players, we did our research on him before we signed him but that didn’t change our thinking at all. We are pleased with what he is producing and he is looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
Pulis offered little more detail, commenting: “Saido served a ban while he was here but I won’t comment why. He didn’t play for me because he wasn’t fit enough.
“Saido is no longer an Albion player. He is at a club which I used to manage and I have respect for. It’s one for Stoke to handle.
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“This football club looked after Saido very well while he was here. The club looks after all the players.”
The FA declined to comment on the case when contacted by Omnisport.