Reports: Portugal’s Queiroz suspended for 6 months

Portugal’s anti-doping agency has ruled that national coach
Carlos Queiroz disrupted an anti-doping test and suspended him for
six months, local media reported Monday.

An agency inquiry found that Queiroz insulted an anti-doping
team sent to test the Portugal squad ahead of the World Cup and
that his aggressive behavior disrupted their work, national news
agency Lusa and other media said.

Officials at the agency were not available for comment on the
reports. The Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement on
its website that the agency has not informed it of any ruling and
that it will not comment until it receives notification.

Queiroz said in a statement that neither he nor his lawyer had
been informed of any official decision. However, he said if it is
true he will appeal against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration
for Sport in Switzerland.

He said in the statement sent to national media that convicting
him of interfering in a doping test would be ”totally wrong, harsh
and unfounded.”

The federation earlier this month suspended Queiroz for one
month on a charge of misconduct related to the same incident at
Portugal’s pre-World Cup training camp in May.

Officials sent to carry out routine tests on Portugal players
said Queiroz harassed and intimidated them and used foul language,
according to media reports. Details of the inquiry have not been
made public.

Queiroz has said he was angry that the unannounced early morning
tests had disturbed the players and admitted that he used
inappropriate language but denied disrupting the tests. None of the
players tested positive.

Queiroz, who has spent two years as Portugal coach, has fought
the charges. Earlier this month, Manchester United coach Alex
Ferguson testified on Queiroz’s behalf as a character witness.
Queiroz was previously Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford.

Portugal produced a disappointing World Cup campaign in South
Africa, where it went out in the second round against eventual
champion Spain.

Portugal’s first qualifying games for the 2012 European
Championship are against Cyprus on Friday and Norway four days
later, when Queiroz’s assistant Agostinho Oliveira will be in
charge. Group H also includes Denmark and Iceland.

If confirmed, the agency’s ruling will increase pressure on the
federation to find a replacement for Queiroz, who would have to sit
out four of Portugal’s Euro 2012 qualifying games.

It would also deliver another blow to Portuguese hopes of making
a strong start to its campaign after captain Cristiano Ronaldo was
ruled out of the first two matches after picking up an injury last
weekend playing for Real Madrid.

Also, midfielder Deco, winger Simao Sabrosa and defender Paulo
Ferreira – three of Portugal’s most capped players – have all
retired from international football since the World Cup.