Mutu handed seven-month ban
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Adrian Mutu has been given a seven month ban and a £20,000 fine for failing a drugs test.Adrian Mutu has been given a seven-month ban and a £20,000 fine for failing a drugs test.
The Romania international, who was sacked by Cheslea last week for the offence, is now unavailable to play again until May 18, 2005.
After a four and half hour hearing at the FA Headquarters in Soho Square, it was decided Mutu's seven-month suspension would be backdated, thus starting on October 25.
It was revealed that the FA had taken into account the fact that the 25-year-old had not contested the allegation before passing sentence.
"Following a Disciplinary Commission at Soho Square today, Adrian Mutu has been suspended for seven months, subject to the player successfully completing a programme of education and rehabilitation," read a statement on the FA's website.
"He was also fined £20,000 and will be subject to target testing throughout the period of the suspension.
"This follows Mutu's failing a doping control test after using a prohibited substance.
"However, the commission did take into account the mitigation put forward by the player.
"His suspension includes the period already served under an interim suspension order, beginning on October 25, and will run until May 18, 2005."
His suspension will apply worldwide provided it is endorsed by world ruling body Fifa, who usually insist a minimum six-month suspension for such offences.
It means Mutu will be away from the pitch for less time than Rio Ferdinand who received an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test last season, and is sure to irk those who had been calling for a two-year ban.
However, PFA chairman Gordon Taylor insisted the Romanian had been given a 'full and fair' hearing and praised The FA for their emphasis on rehabilitation.
"He has admitted the charge and accepted his responsibility and he now wants to restore his good name in the international football world and particularly in his homeland of Romania," said Taylor.
"We are appreciative of the Football Association's attitude with regard to the emphasis on rehabilitation and education - and we feel he had a full and fair hearing from that point of view."