City star Toure fails drugs test

l Defender suspended by club after positive sample l Toure faces ban of up to two years if found guilty

MANCHESTER CITY last night suspended Kolo Toure indefinitely after the Ivory Coast defender failed a drug test.

The Premier League club said they had been informed by the Football Association that Toure, 29, had tested positive for “a specified substance”.

Such substances are prohibited and can result in a ban of up to two years, if an athlete is found guilty. Such a suspension would have career-threatening implications for a player of Toure’s age.

However the term “specified substance” is defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency as one that has greater potential to have been taken innocently, for example as part of a supplement or medicine.

The development came as a shock to football, where cases of players testing positive are rare.

A statement from the club read: “Manchester City confirm that the FA has informed Kolo Toure that an ‘A-sample’ provided by him has tested positive for a specified substance.

“As result of this, he has been suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches pending the outcome of the legal process. There will be no further comment from the football club at this stage.”

The FA did not specify the identity but said a player had been “provisionally suspended from playing pending investigation, having tested positive for use of a prohibited substance”.

Toure was rested for Wednesday’s FA Cup win over Aston Villa and looks certain to miss City’s league fixture at home to Wigan tomorrow. After that the title hopefuls face Reading in the FA Cup quarter-finals followed by a trip to Chelsea on 20 March.

City paid Arsenal £14m for the centre-back in the summer of 2009, when his former Gunners team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor followed him to the ambitious Eastlands outfit.

DRUGS CASES IN FOOTBALL
Adrian Mutu
Failed a drugs test for cocaine and was sacked by Chelsea in October 2004

Rio Ferdinand
Incurred and eight month ban in 2004 after he failed to attend a drugs test

Paddy Kenny
Tested positive for ephedrine and was handed a nine month ban in 2009

Simon Mensing
Banned for a month earlier this year after testing positive for methylhexaneamine.