Footballer Banned After Drugs Test


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Mar 23, 2002
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Dover, Kent, United Kingdom
Premiership footballer Abel Xavier has been banned from playing for 18 months after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.The 32-year-old Middlesbrough defender failed a drugs test after his team's UEFA Cup match against Xanthi on September 29.Samples revealed the presence of methandienone, also known as dianabol.

Xavier is the first Premiership player to be found to have taken performance-enhancing - as opposed to recreational - drugs.

He was given the suspension following a personal

hearing at UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

UEFA said in a statement: "The player was found guilty of being in breach of the UEFA anti-doping regulations.

"As a result, the UEFA control and disciplinary body decided to impose an 18-month ban on Abel Xavier."

He has three days to appeal against the suspension once he receives written confirmation of the ruling.

Middlesbrough signed the Portuguese international on a free transfer in August following his release by Italian side Roma.

He has been capped 20 times by Portugal and has played for both Liverpool and Everton as well as Benfica, Galatasaray and PSV Eindhoven.

Xavier claimed he took the drug unknowingly after buying a diet supplement from the USA that had been contaminated.

He said last month: "I am convinced there is a harmless explanation."