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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 15:47 GMT
Mutu given seven-month suspension
Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu arrives for the FA hearing
Sacked Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu has been handed a seven-month ban by the Football Association disciplinary committee for failing a drug test.

An FA statement said Mutu was suspended "subject to completing a programme of education and rehabilitation" and the punishment was backdated to October 25.

He was also fined 20,000 and will be subject to target testing throughout the period of the suspension.

Mutu, 25, was at Soho Square for the FA hearing and will not launch an appeal.

A prohibited substance was found following a random drugs test in September.

However, the ban is a month less than Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was given for failing to attend a drugs test.

Mutu's ban will end on 18 May - meaning he will not return to action before next season at the earliest.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich was banned for nine months last year for cocaine use.

The commission said it took into account Mutu's admission of guilt and the fact that he had already booked into a rehabilitation programme was also expected to go in his favour.

Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor said: "He is now looking forward to getting his career back on track.

"We are appreciative of the Football Association's attitude, with the emphasis on education and rehabilitation. We had a full and fair hearing.

"Adrian has admitted the charge in mitigation and accepted his responsibility from the very beginning.

"He's sorry for the problem that has been caused and wants to restore his good name."

Mutu had his contract terminated on the grounds of 'gross misconduct' under Chelsea's zero-tolerance policy on the use of drugs, a decision criticised by PFA officials.

The Romanian skipper joined Chelsea from Parma in August 2003 for 15.8m.

Speaking before the ban was announced Victor Becali, one of Mutu's representatives, said: "We are not worrying about Mutu's future.

"We already received proposals from four clubs for Mutu, even without knowing his ban yet.

"Two of them are from England," he added without elaborating.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Mutu's representative Gica Popescu






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