Home » EPL, Latest » Kolo Touré gets six months for failed drugs test

Kolo Touré will be free to resume his career at Manchester City in September after the Football Association imposed a six-month ban, backdated to March, as punishment for testing positive for a banned substance.

Touré had admitted taking an unspecified substance contained in some water tablets he obtained through his wife. However, the commission chairman, Christopher Quinlan QC, said he was fully satisfied the Ivory Coast international “did not intend to enhance sporting performance or to mask the use of a performance enhancing substance”.

The legal team acting on behalf of Touré had asked for a maximum three-month ban, meaning the defender would be available for the start of next season. Instead, the commission ruled it ought to be six months starting from 2 March, a few weeks after the routine drugs test that led to his giving the first Premier League positive test since Chelsea’s Adrian Mutu in 2004.

Touré, Quinlan concluded, was “at fault in the limited and perfunctory efforts he made in relation to the water tablets; the checks he made in relation to those tablets were inadequate and fell some way below what it would be reasonable to expect of a professional footballer”.

The player released a brief statement saying: “This has been a difficult period for me, and I am sad to have missed the team’s triumph of securing Champions League football and also the FA Cup victory at Wembley. But I am relieved that I will be able to return to football in September and thank the FA’s commission for their understanding.”

That relief stems from the sense at Eastlands prior to the day-long hearing that he could conceivably be ruled out until next year, with the FA having the power to impose anything up to a two-year ban.

To put it into context, Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United was banned for eight months and fined £50,000 in 2003 after missing a drugs test. In terms of testing positive, the Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Paddy Kenny received a nine-month ban in 2009. Kenny, then of Sheffield United, had ephedrine in his system after taking a cough cure to combat a chest infection.

Until the ban expires, Touré will not be allowed to train with the rest of Roberto Mancini’s squad or, Quinlan said, “participate in any football match or any other football related activity other than anti-doping education or rehabilitation programmes”.

The player will be “target-tested” for a period of two years, starting from 26 May, and it may not be until October before he can realistically be expected to start challenging for a place in the team given the restrictions that have been placed on him.

Source: Guardian

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