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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
O'Boyle and Thomas lodge court appeal
O'Boyle and Thomas had their sackings upheld by the SFA
The SFA upheld the sackings of O'Boyle and Thomas
Two footballers accused by St Johnstone of snorting cocaine have started their court battle against the sack.

And the lawyer acting for George O'Boyle and Kevin Thomas is confident they will prove that process that led to their dismissal from the Scottish Premier League club breached human rights.

They lodged papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

It is the latest stage of their courtroom battle, having indicated in April that they would be seeking a judicial review.

No date has yet been fixed for a full hearing.

New evidence

Lawyer Rick McAnulty said: "They have appealed to the Court of Session to seek a judicial review of the SFA's decision to uphold the appeal.

Our counsel, who has started the official review, considers that they have reasonable prospects of success
  Rick McAnulty
"It means that if the Court of Session believes the SFA were wrong to uphold the appeal, they will be reinstated.

"The petitions have been lodged and we expect a decision very shortly, which could be a couple of weeks.

"We are confident for our case. Our counsel, who has started the official review, considers that they have reasonable prospects of success."

The pair were forced to continue their battle outwith the football world after the Scottish Football Association over-ruled an earlier decision by the SPL to overturn the sacking.

O'Boyle and Thomas now claim they did not get a fair hearing by the SFA appeals committee because St Johnstone were allowed to add to their case on the morning of the hearing.

Pub toilets

They also claim that they were not given fair notice or a chance to counter new evidence brought by St Johnstone.

St Johnstone terminated the duo's contracts after they were spotted with a white powder in the pub toilets during a club Christmas night out in Perth.

Both players were recovering from long-term injuries at the time.

O'Boyle was training with Raith Rovers at the end of the season and the First Division club could offer him a contract at the start of next season.

Fellow striker Thomas is continuing his battle for fitness.

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See also:

02 Jun 01 |  St Johnstone
Saints accused of double standards
27 May 01 |  Scotland
Sacked pair talk of drugs scandal
04 Apr 01 |  St Johnstone
Sacked pair in court appeal
04 Apr 01 |  St Johnstone
SFA rules in favour of drugs sacking
16 Mar 01 |  St Johnstone
Saints appeal drugs decision
09 Mar 01 |  St Johnstone
Saints hit back at SPL ruling
05 Mar 01 |  St Johnstone
Perth pair respond to chairman's claim
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