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Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Friday, 27 May 2011 12:54 UK

Kolo Toure's six-month ban supported by PFA

Kolo Toure
Toure will next feature in a Manchester City shirt in September

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure's six-month suspension for failing a drugs test has been supported by the Professional Footballers' Association.

The independent panel could have issued a warning or longer ban but considered Toure's use of his wife's diet tablets.

A PFA spokesman told BBC Sport: "The suspension is a proportionate sanction for the offence that was committed."

UK Anti-Doping can appeal this result and will reveal their response after receiving the report on Toure's case.

Toure's ban is back-dated to 2 March, when his provisional suspension began, and will be free to play from 2 September with a two-year period of target-testing that began on 26 May.

The 30-year-old admitted the offence - his first - contrary to Regulation 3 of the FA Doping Regulations 2010-11. But the independent panel weighed up the circumstances behind his use of water tablets belonging to his wife.

Man City's QC Adam Lewis had suggested the ban not exceed three months during the meeting on Thursday but the FA commission disagreed, although they were satisfied the Ivory Coast defender had not intended to enhance sporting performance or mask the use of a performance-enhancing substance.

After hearing his fate, a relieved Toure said: "This has been a difficult period, and I am sad to have missed the team's triumph of securing Champions League football and the FA Cup. I thank the FA's commission for their understanding."

With the independent regulatory commission having the power to issue anything from a warning to a two-year ban by way of punishment, the Professional Footballers' Association ruled out any suggestion that Toure's verdict had been lenient.

The PFA spokesman added: "He missed the FA Cup final and winning their first major trophy in 35 years.

"Plus there was the build-up to City claiming third place for a Champions League spot. So as a consequence of this verdict, his season has been affected significantly."

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the national body responsible for the implementation and management of the UK's anti-doping policy, provide athlete testing across more than 40 sports, complying with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Although the Football Association commission oversees proceedings for cases in football and provide their judgement, the UKAD retain the power to appeal any result provided by them.

On Friday, a spokesperson at the UKAD told BBC Sport that they were still awaiting the full report on Toure's case and would decide the next course of action, if any, after digesting its content.

The ruling means he cannot participate in any football match or any other football-related activity other than anti-doping education or rehabilitation programmes until his ban expires.

It will have been a frustrating season for Toure, who lost the Manchester City captaincy to Carlos Tevez on 18 August.

He was then tested at the Manchester derby in February, when he was an unused substitute and was suspended on 3 March after his A-sample tested positive for "a specified substance".

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - who brought Toure to England by signing him - revealed on 4 March: "He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems and he took the product [from] his wife.

"He is a boy that has a clean life, a very honest living. I just think it is a mistake."

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

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see also
Kolo Toure banned for six months
26 May 11 |  Man City
Yaya laments Kolo's final absence
13 May 11 |  African
Drogba backs Toure over drug test
11 Mar 11 |  African
Toure 'took wife's slimming aid'
04 Mar 11 |  Man City
What now for Kolo Toure?
04 Mar 11 |  Africa horizontal
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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