Technician holds test tube with blood sample at Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow.
MILAN - Serie A club Cagliari said Tuesday they were "stunned" after Italian anti-doping officials requested a four-year ban be imposed on forward Joao Pedro for failing a drugs test.
The Brazilian tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide following two games -- against Sassuolo on February 11 and again against Chievo on February 17.
The 26-year-old&39;s case will be heard before a court of Italy&39;s national anti-doping organisation NADO on May 16.
In a statement the Sardinian club expressed their "astonishment at the length of the request".
"The club remains firmly convinced of Joao Pedro&39;s good faith and personal and sporting loyalty," the statement added.
Joao Pedro insists he unwittingly consumed contaminated food supplements, and his lawyers remain confident he will be cleared.
A scorer of six goals this season, he has been suspended indefinitely by the club.
He would be the second Serie A player this season to be banned for failing a doping test.
Benevento captain Fabio Lucioni was banned for a year in January for doping after the steroid clostebol was found in a sample taken after his side lost 1-0 to Torino in September.
Benevento team doctor Walter Giorgione was banned for four years for administering the steroid to Lucioni in a spray.