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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Friday, 4 March 2011

Man City defender Kolo Toure 'took wife's slimming aid'

Kolo Toure
Ivory Coast international Toure joined Manchester City in 2009

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Kolo Toure's failed drugs test is a result of the player taking a "slimming product belonging to his wife".

The Manchester City defender, 29, has been suspended after testing positive for a specified substance.

But Toure's ex-boss Wenger has spoken to the player and said: "He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems.

"He has a clean life, is very honest, is always at home and is a family man."

Toure was informed by the Football Association that he failed a test taken at the Manchester derby last month where he was an unused substitute.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) defines a specified substance as one that is "more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation".

The punishment for this offence ranges from a warning to a two-year ban.

After Toure's A sample returned positive, City confirmed in a statement that the player had been suspended "pending the outcome of the legal process".

Toure has until Wednesday, 9 March to decide whether or not he wants a B sample to be tested. If he does and it comes back negative then the case would be closed and Toure regarded as not guilty.

However, if he does not then he will have to submit an explanation and would face a lengthy disciplinary procedure.

BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan told BBC Radio 5 live: "A specified substance, according to Wada, is one more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation because of its general availability in medicines."


Since football signed up to Wada's code, testing has become more stringent and targeted, and ignorance is not regarded as a defence.

Hamilton Academical midfielder Simon Mensing recently served a four-week ban after a specified substance was detected in his system.

However, former Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny served a nine-month suspension after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

It took two months for the case to be heard and the player's defence of the drug being present in cough medicine was dismissed.

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, believes Toure has been "unfortunate".

"I feel convinced he has not been seeking to gain any advantange or to be cheating," he said. "He has just been unfortunate.

"Players have got to be so, so careful these days. When it (the substance) is on the list it can be anything from a warning to two years (suspension).

"Things have now got to take due process, so we have to be mindful of that fact."

Roan added: "There seems little doubt Toure's season is over, it's now whether or not his entire career at Manchester City is in jeopardy too."

Ivory Coast international Toure, whose brother Yaya also plays for City, is a former club captain who joined from Arsenal in July 2009.

The defender has gone on to make more than 50 appearances for City, although he was not involved in Wednesday's FA Cup victory over Aston Villa.

The failed test automatically triggered the suspension and it is understood that Toure was left out of the squad because the club had been made aware of the situation.

City added in the statement: "There will be no further comment from the football club at this stage."

And on Thursday evening the FA said in a statement: "The FA can confirm that a player has been provisionally suspended from playing pending investigation, having tested positive for the use of a prohibited substance."

Mensing, 28, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine at the end of January and subsequently missed five matches after a period of ineligibility was imposed on him.

The player maintained he was unaware he had ingested the substance while using a dietary supplement - an explanation which was accepted by UK Anti-Doping.

In Kenny's instance, Christopher Quinlan - the chairman of the Regulatory Commission which heard the case - said that a professional sportsman "has a strict responsibility to ensure prohibited substances do not enter his or her body".

Toure was the skipper of City until the start of the current season when the armband passed to Carlos Tevez.

The Ivorian defender was brought to the Premier League by Arsenal in 2002 and he remained with the London club until his £14m transfer to City.

Toure, who is under contract with City until the summer of 2013, was one of several high-profile arrivals in the summer of 2009 as then-manager Mark Hughes spent more than £100m on new players.

City are pursuing trophies on three fronts. They play Reading in the FA Cup quarter-finals, meet Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Europa League and lie third in the Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United.


Sport's anti-doping laws explained

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see also
Toure suspension costs Crewe loan
04 Mar 11 |  Crewe
Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
02 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Drug test resulted in Mensing ban
28 Feb 11 |  Hamilton
Toure completes Man City switch
29 Jul 09 |  Man City

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