Manchester City have been slapped with a Football Association (FA) charge of infringing anti-doping rules.
The two-time Premier League champions, who have until 19 January to respond to the charge, are accused of breaching FA rules concerning players’ whereabouts for the purposes of facilitating drug-testing.
Clubs are required to provide the FA with up-to-date details of the times, dates and venues of training sessions, as well as the home addresses of their players.
The charge relates to the club as opposed to any individual. A fine is believed to be the most likely sanction should City be found guilty.
An FA statement read: “Manchester City have been charged in relation to the FA’s rules on anti-doping. It is alleged the club failed to ensure that their ‘club whereabouts’ information was accurate, contrary to Regulation 14 (d).
“City have until 19 January 2017 to respond to the charge.”
Regulation 14 (d) states: “It shall also be a breach of this Regulation 14 by the Club if the information contained in such reports is either initially inaccurate or has not been updated by the Club as necessary to ensure it remains accurate.”
It is not the first time City have fallen foul of anti-doping rules. In May 2011 former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure, who now plays for Scottish champions Celtic, was handed a six-month ban from football after failing a drugs test.
There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by City’s players on this occasion.
The FA charge is also unrelated to allegations that another ex-Gunner, midfielder Samir Nasri, who is on loan at La liga outfit Sevilla, used a controversial vitamin drip treatment.