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By ESPN Staff

Azerbaijan defender Sokolov given doping ban

BAKU, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan defender Sergei Sokolov has received an 18-month ban for doping, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old, who plays for Azeri Cup winners Karabagh Agdam, tested positive for the banned substance Betamethasone after the Euro 2008 Group A qualifier against Belgium in Brussels on Oct. 11, which the Belgians won 3-0.

Although the Ukraine-born full back had protested his innocence, he did not request an analysis of the B sample.

UEFA also fined the Azerbaijan Football Federation (AFF) 5,000 euros ($6,496) for the infringement.