Arijan Ademi failed a drug test following Dinamo Zagreb's match against Arsenal last month ©Getty Images

Macedonian midfielder Arijan Ademi failed a doping test following his club side Dinamo Zagreb's Champions League victory over English opponents Arsenal last month, it has been announced.

The 24-year-old, who was training with his country's international squad before being withdrawn when notified of his failure, played the full 90 minutes during the Croatian team's surprise 2-1 victory in Zagreb on September 16.

He also played in subsequent matches, including the side's 5-0 defeat to German champions Bayern Munich.

It is not yet clear what substance Ademi failed for.

European football's governing body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings, the club confirmed in a statement, with no more details expected until the result of a B-sample is released.

"We are surprised because Ademi was selected for doping control six times this year and results were negative every time," the statement added.

If the second sample is also positive, the player faces a two year ban, but, like in team sports during the Olympics, there are no rules to disqualify teams from the Champions League unless two or more squad members fail tests.

Arijan Ademi pictured attempting to tackle Arsenal's Santi Cazorla during the Champions League group match ©Getty Images
Arijan Ademi, pictured attempting to tackle Arsenal's Santi Cazorla during the Champions League group match ©Getty Images

Football is less associated with doping than some other sports, but there are concerns that there is an undercurrent of illegal drug use in some areas.

A UEFA study released last month found that 7.7 per cent of 879 Champions League and Europa League players tested between 2008 and 2013 had high testosterone levels, suggesting possible use of anabolic steroids.

In September Algerian international Youcef Belaili was handed a two-year ban after failing a test during a Confederation of African Football Champions League tie on August 7.

In 2014, Tajikistan footballer Khurshed Beknazarov registered the first failed test of the Asian Games in Incheon, failing for the stimulant methylhexaneamine and being disqualified from the event.

Recreational drug use has been more common than performance enhancing substances, however, with perhaps the most famous example involving Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona.

He was banned for 15 months in 1991 after a failed test for cocaine while playing for Napoli in Italy, while, during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he was suspended and later sanctioned for 18 months for taking alkaloid drug ephedrine.

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