North Korea have been banned from taking part in the 2015 women's World Cup in Canada after five of their players were handed lengthy suspensions by FIFA on Thursday for failing doping tests during this year's edition in Germany.
Defender Jong Pok Sim (R) of North Korea women's national football team, one of five players tested positive with drug Photo: AFP
The five players were suspended from the game for periods of 14 to 18 months, the FIFA disciplinary committee announced.
"Pok Sim Jong, Myong Hui Hong, Un Byol Ho, Un Hyang Ri have been declared ineligible for 18 months and Jong Sun Song for 14 months," said the statement.
"Furthermore, the North Korea Football Association's women's A representative team has been excluded from participating in the next FIFA Women's World Cup (Canada 2015), including any preliminary competitions related thereto."
The team doctor, Jong Ae Nam, who claimed that she had used a "Chinese remedy" based on musk deer glands to aid players who had been struck by lightning, was handed a six-year ban from the game as the five players all tested positive for steroids.
The North Korean federation was also fined US$400,000 which corresponds to the prize money it would have received for its 13th place.
The Colombian reserve goalkeeper Yineth Varon, who also tested positive, was given a two-year ban.