Adrian Mutu suspended for nine months


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Former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu has been suspended for nine months by the Italian Olympic Committee after failing anti-doping tests in January.

Mutu twice tested positive for appetite suppressant sibutramine after games against Bari and Lazio, and will be unable to play until 29 October.

"I'm not happy. A suspension this long for a laxative seems excessive," said the Fiorentina and Romania star, 31.

In 2004, Mutu received a seven-month ban for testing positive for cocaine.

Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant drug mainly used to help obese people, although it was recently banned in the UK amid fears over the increased risks of heart attacks and strokes.

The striker had told prosecutors that the traces of sibutramine found in his tests were the result of slimming tablets given to him for his mother.

Mutu reacted angrily to the ruling, saying: "I feel this is a harsh punishment. 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."

Mutu will certainly be a big loss for the Serie A club, having scored 50 goals in 91 appearances since joining after a disappointing spell with Juventus, effectively rebuilding his career in Florence following his 2004 drugs ban.

There had been speculation linking him with a move away from the Viola this summer, but that now seems unlikely given the ban.

His lawyer said the Romania captain has not ruled out an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Romania's qualifying campaign for the 2012 European Championship gets under way on 3 September.

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Surprised they gave him such a lenient suspension. After the previous ban, albeit for non performance enhancing drugs, I suspect another judge may have even dished out a life ban!

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