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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 10:34 GMT
Uefa to hear Wales appeal
Egor Titov
When it impacts on the result against the (Russia) side we were involved with it begs questions
Wales manager Mark Hughes
Uefa has agreed to hear Wales' appeal to overturn their Euro 2004 play-off result following a failed drugs test by Russia's Egor Titov.

The midfielder tested positive for bromantan after the 0-0 first-leg draw on 15 November and the Welsh believe he was ineligible for the second leg.

Russia won that return leg in Cardiff 1-0 four days later, but the Football Association of Wales (FAW) wants the result to be declared a Wales win.

Uefa, though, has already said it was "highly unlikely" that Titov's failed test would be grounds for altering the result.

But they at least agreed to discuss Wales' plea, with the appeal due to be heard on Tuesday 3 February.

A statement read: "The FAW has asked the European governing body to overturn Russia's 1-0 aggregate victory by awarding Wales a 3-0 first-leg win."

And FAW secretary general David Collins said: "We believe that, under the regulations, the national association should have been called to account when a player uses a banned substance, as Titov did."

If the appeal is successful, Wales could take Russia's place in this summer's Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.

The Football Union of Russia, who has not been punished, announced it would not be appealing against Titov's 12-month ban and 4,420 fine.

Titov accepts he provided a positive sample, but he has appealed against the length of his suspension.

His club, Spartak Moscow, have also decided to challenge their fine of 8,840.

No date has yet been set for Uefa to hear those hearings.

Titov says he was prescribed the medication Remontadin by Spartak team doctor Artyom Katulin - who has now been sacked by the club - to cure a cold.

Club officials believe it may have contained traces of bromantan or a similar substance.

You have to say looking back on the game in Cardiff, they certainly finished stronger than we did
Wales manager Mark Hughes
"I have never resorted to doping, it's against my personal and sporting principles," said Titov. "This question should be addressed to our doctor Artyom Katulin.

"In Spartak all the relations between players and staff are done with mutual trust. And if a doctor gives players some medication he should be fully responsible for that medication."

The Spartak skipper was an unused substitute in Moscow, but played 59 minutes before being substituted in the second leg at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales manager Mark Hughes has been determined throughout that the FAW should appeal.

"My initial reaction was shock because it's not something you expect to hear about," he said.

"When it impacts on the result against the (Russia) side we were involved with it begs questions."

Bromantan has been called the "secret" Russian drug and positive tests led to Russian athletes being stripped of their medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

They were re-instated because the then-unknown substance, a stimulant and masking agent, had not been on the International Olympic Committee's banned list.

Hughes believes it could have still been in the player's system for the second leg.

"In the double-header games there is an impact on energy levels in the second game," Hughes said.

"You have to say looking back on the game in Cardiff, they certainly finished stronger than we did."

BBC News' Wyre Davies
"The Welsh FA want to see Titov and Russia punished"


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