Saudi Arabia forward Fahad Al-Muwallad was withdrawn from their World Cup squad on Sunday as a precaution due to an ongoing doping case.
The Al-Shabab forward was handed an 18-month ban last May by the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee after he tested positive for the banned substance Furosemide.
However, the Saudi Sport Arbitration Centre reduced his ban in late August, and decided that the period during which he was suspended was sufficient.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the decision, and, according to local media reports, a longer ban is expected for the 28-year-old, who in 2019 was suspended for one year, also for doping.
The Saudi team said on Twitter that Coach HerveRenard made the decision “as a precautionary measure after reviewing the developments of WADA’s appeal … and after consulting with the Saudi FA legal department.”
Renard has called up Al-Shabab’s veteran forward Nawaf Al-Abed to replace Al-Muwallad.
Saudi Arabia are in Group C alongside Argentina, Mexico and Poland at the finals which run from November 20 to December 18.