Adrian Mutu, the Fiorentina striker, has been banned for nine months after failing an anti-doping test in January. The ruling was confirmed yesterday by the Romania international's club after the case was heard by the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal. Mutu's ban will run until October as he has already spent two months on the sidelines. "Nine-month ban for Adrian Mutu - this is the decision taken by the anti-doping tribunal regarding the positive test for the substance by the Viola player. The ban will end on October 29, 2010," said a statement on the Fiorentina website.
"The Viola player had been suspended since January 29 after the positive tests following the game against Bari on January 10 and Lazio on January 20 in the Italian Cup." This is the second lengthy drugs ban for Mutu, whose Chelsea career ended when he was sacked for cocaine use and banned for seven months. In 2008, he was ordered by Fifa to pay Chelsea 17 million (Dh84m) in compensation as a result of his sacking, a decision which he is appealing
Mutu had told prosecutors that the traces of sibutramine found in his tests were the result of taking slimming tablets given to him for his mother. Yesterday, the 31-year-old reacted angrily to the ruling. "I feel this is a harsh punishment," he said. "It seems too much. I expected less because, yes, the mistake was made, it's right to pay, but not so much. "I would like to add that I am sorry for having left Fiorentina without my services for the next few months, both for the club and for the fans."
Fiorentina will certainly miss Mutu, as he has scored 50 goals in 91 appearances for the club since joining after a disappointing spell with Juventus, effectively rebuilding his career in Florence. * PA Sport