Sassuolo without Acerbi after failed drug test

Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi has been left out of the squad to face Juventus on Sunday after a failed drugs test.

The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) announced on Friday that the 25-year-old had tested positive for Chorionic Gonadotropin after Sassuolo's 2-2 draw at Cagliari on December 1.

Chorionic Gonadotropin has been linked as a treatment for cancer, with Acerbi having undergone surgery for testicular cancer in July.

However, with CONI - and Sassuolo themselves - having confirmed that no application for any therapeutic exemption was made, Acerbi was provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal.

The 25-year-old, who has previously spent spells with Milan and Genoa, was not included among the 23-man squad announced on Saturday for Sassuolo's first competitive meeting with the Serie A champions.

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco is also without on-loan striker Domenico Berardi, with the in-form teenager set to miss out against his parent club due to suspension.


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