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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Bosnich given ban
Mark Bosnich
Bosnich was found guilty by the FA

The Football Association has given goalkeeper Mark Bosnich a nine-month ban for failing a drug test.

The Australian was found guilty after testing positive for cocaine in 2002.

The player, 31, had claimed his drink had been spiked with the drug while out, and intends to appeal the FA decision.

An FA commission ruled after a two-day hearing that he was guilty of charges of improper conduct and breaching their doping control regulations.

BOSNICH FACTFILE
1972: Born in Sydney, January 13. During 1980s plays for Sydney Croatia
1989: Joins Man Utd for first spell, but leaves due to work permit problems
1992: Joins Aston Villa after marrying English girlfriend.
1999: Returns to Man Utd for second spell on Bosman ruling transfer. Plays just 35 games
2001: Joins Chelsea on a free transfer
2002: Charged in December with bringing game into disrepute
2003: Sacked by Chelsea; loses claim for unfair dismissal; contests Premier League decision to uphold sacking

The Australian will nevertheless not face the maximum penalty of a two-year suspension, with his nine-month ban backdated to start from 23 December 2002, when a temporary worldwide restriction was first enforced.

That means the former Aston Villa and Manchester United goalkeeper could start playing again before the end of September.

Bosnich, who has had his contract terminated by Chelsea, was not fined, but he must pay the costs of the FA commission up to a maximum of 10,000.

The Australian is already contesting a Premier League ruling that upheld Chelsea's decision to dismiss him.

Bosnich joined Chelsea in 2001 on a free transfer from Manchester United but made only seven appearances for the London club.

Chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association Gordon Taylor believes the goalkeeper could rebuild his career.

"It may well have been worse (Bosnich could have been banned for two years) and while it is damaging to his career, it does not mean to say his career is over," said Taylor.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Andy Swiss
"A career-ending two-year ban could have been given"


PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor
"Mark wants to clear his name"



CHELSEA

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