Mario He has withdrawn from the European squad for the upcoming Mosconi Cup after receiving notification of a failed drug test. The case is ongoing, however. He has decided to withdraw from the European Mosconi Cup squad while he awaits the outcome of the investigation.
“I‘m so, so sad that this happened. There is never a right time for this, but this was the worst time I could imagine. The Mosconi Cup was always my dream and I made it, but now I can’t play it because I was tested positive by a doping test by a non-performance enhancing drug,” he said in a statement released by Matchroom Sports.
“It’s unreal and like a nightmare, which I will never forget in my life. I have high blood pressure, which I have had since a young age and my mum has it as well. I got a medicine which was not on the doping list. However, it didn’t work and we changed the pill. The new medicine had the same name just with a Plus on it, so that‘s why I was not concerned about it. But this wasn‘t legal,” he added. “I want to say sorry to the organizations and federations that have to do some work because of my fault.”
He qualified for the 2018 Mosconi Cup through finishing second on the European Team ranking. He will be replaced by Greece’s Alex Kazakis, who was the next highest placed player on the combined ranking list.
APA will be the Official Sponsor of Team USA in this year’s Mosconi Cup. Team USA members include Shane Van Boening, Corey Deuel, Tyler Styer, Sky Woodward and Billy Thorpe.
The Mosconi Cup is an annual 9-Ball pool tournament between teams from Europe and the USA which began in 1994. The trophy is named after American pro player Willie Mosconi. The event has often been tabbed as pro pool’s version of the Ryder Cup in golf. As of 2017, Team Europe holds a 12-11 advantage in Cups won with the teams playing to a tie in 2006.
This year’s event will be held in London at Alexandra Palace Dec. 4 – 7. Tickets can be purchased at mosconicup.com.