‘It was obvious to us from the start that Ebi hadn’t smoked anything himself,’ said Feyenoord manager Jan D. Swart. ‘We know him too well for that. During the hearing in Switzerland smoking was dismissed immediately, because, if he had been doing that, the amount of cannabinol would never have been so low according to the experts. In fact, this was Ebi’s most important victory’.
The Control Disciplinary Board hearing attended by Ebi Smolarek’s lawyer and his agent Emile Vrijman lasted a full day. The player himself was also questioned: by telephone because he was unable to fly due to an injury.
‘Emile Vrijman was able to prove that the substance is found in health food products and it was known that Ebi used them. During the hearing that evidence was also made available to the experts,’ explained Swart. ‘It may be a case of passive smoking. The fact remains that on balance a small increase was observed and a suspension will follow in accordance with the rules. But more of a caution, which Vrijman expects to be no more than four European matches.’