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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 13:56 GMT
Middlesbrough end Xavier contract
Abel Xavier
Xavier is taking his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Middlesbrough have cancelled Portuguese defender Abel Xavier's contract at the Riverside Stadium.

Xavier, 33, is currently battling against a drugs ban having tested positive after Boro's goalless draw against Xanthi on 29 September, 2005.

He has been banned for 18 months and, after losing an appeal in December, is taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Xavier joined the Riverside outfit on a 12-month deal in August 2005.

His positive test for dianabol, a steroid favoured by body-builders, saw him become the first Premiership footballer to be found guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs.




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