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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 08:21 GMT
Banned Mutu wants Adams help
Exclusive by Simon Austin

Adrian Mutu
Mutu will undergo treatment with Sporting Chance in the new year
Adrian Mutu will be personally mentored by Tony Adams when he undergoes rehabilitation in January.

Mutu must spend two weeks with the Sporting Chance clinic to comply with the terms of his seven-month drugs ban.

"Adrian wanted to work with Tony as he was a high-profile sportsman who overcame an addiction," Sporting Chance chief Peter Kay told BBC Sport.

"I'm sure he'll take the chance to learn important lessons about himself and become the man he hopes to be."

Mutu was suspended at the start of November and subsequently sacked by Chelsea for taking cocaine.

His suspension ends on 18 May, but the Romanian will not be able to resume playing until he has undergone rehabilitation at Sporting Chance.

The charity was set up by Kay and Adams to help sportsmen with addictions.

It has treated several top footballers, including Paul McGrath, Paul Merson and Clarke Carlisle.

Adrian is a delightful young man but like many, he's made a mistake in his life
Peter Kay
Sporting Chance chief executive
Kay emphasised he does not normally discuss individual cases and that confidentiality was one of the keys to the success of Sporting Chance.

But he added: "Because of the public nature of Adrian's ban and its conditions, I can confirm he will be with us in the new year.

"In many ways it will be the biggest challenge of his career.

"Adrian has done everything that has been asked of him up to now.

"He is a delightful young man but like many, including me, he's made a mistake in his life."

Mutu's programme at Sporting Chance will involve "support, education and mentoring".

The 25-year-old recently sacked his agent, Gica Popescu, taking on Alessandro Moggi, son of Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi, instead.

And Kay has been unable to contact Mutu since he made the switch.

It's important to realise he's not being treated for an addiction
Peter Kay
"Recently we have not been able to contact Adrian, nor has he contacted me," Kay said.

Mutu claims he only took cocaine four or five times while going through the strain of divorce and being estranged from his children.

"It's important to realise he's not being treated for an addiction - we are mentoring him in dealing with life problems," said Kay.

Mutu is currently spending time in his homeland, Romania, and Italy, where he formerly played for Parma.

He recently held talks with Juventus, although the club told BBC Sport that no agreement had been reached.

Adams, 38, resigned as manager of Wycombe Wanderers in November.

He wanted to finish his sports science degree and spend more time with his young family.

Mutu takes case to Premier League
17 Nov 04 |  Premiership
Adams quit to finish his studies
10 Nov 04 |  Wycombe Wanderers
Mutu ban made worldwide by Fifa
12 Nov 04 |  Chelsea
Mutu in pledge to rebuild career
05 Nov 04 |  Chelsea

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