Attempt to have hair tomorrow means that Lazaridis is gone today

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The Independent Online

Stan Lazaridis must feel like tearing his hair out. The former West Ham United and Birmingham City winger was banned for 12 months by the Football Federation of Australia yesterday after failing a drugs test. But it wasn't cocaine or performance enhancers that led to his downfall. No, instead Lazaridis fell foul of the banned substance finasteride – a masking agent – which was present in the medication he was taking to treat hair loss.

Not very Rock 'n' Roll.

Lazaridis tested positive in November last year and, as such, his ban will be backdated to the day of the test, which means he would be available to play for his A-League club Perth Glory in December, the FFA said.

"The tribunal made certain express findings regarding Stan's good character which FFA welcomes," the FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said.

"In particular, it found that Stan had not taken the prohibited substance to mask a performance-enhancing drug, but for legitimate therapeutic purposes as prescribed by his doctor. The problem related to the processes, which is why it is so important for all athletes to be vigilant."

Lazaridis, 35, made over 50 appearances for the Socceroos and played his last match against Paraguay last year. He arrived back in Australia from England in 2006 to play for Perth. Despite having permission to use the drug in England, he was only given formal approval to use the drug by Australian authorities in January of this year – two months after the positive test.

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