Drugs and football

Ten headline makers
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The Independent Football

Frank McAvennie
McAvennie had a distinguished career as a striker with Celtic, West Ham and Scotland during the 1980s, but has become renowned for his liking of cocaine (two offences of possession), champagne and Page 3 "burdz". In his autobiography, punningly titled Scoring, he claims he and his then-lover, Jenny Blyth, put a fortune up their noses.

Willie Johnston
Johnston failed a mandatory drugs test after Scotland's defeat by Peru in the 1978 World Cup and was sent home. Now a publican, Johnston still claims he took nothing more than a decongestant for hay fever. Scotland's manager, Ally MacLeod, collected every pill the squad had and dumped them in a field en route to training. They were guzzled by horses.

Jamie Stuart
Stuart, a defender, played in the same England Under-21 side as David Beckham and Lee Bowyer while with Charlton (where Bowyer also tested positive for marijuana aged 18). In 1996 Stuart was found to have used marijuana and cocaine. After a six-month ban, he joined Millwall then Bury and is now with Southend.

Harry Gregg
Gregg, now 70, was a goalkeeper with Manchester United and Northern Ireland. Earlier this year, he revealed in a TV documentary that he had taken speed (amphetamine dexadrine) during the early 1960s, when there were no anti-doping laws in the game. He remains adamant that he was unaware that what he took before matches was classed as a narcotic.

Diego Maradona
Maradona, the greatest player of his generation, maintained he had "beaten" cocaine addiction after serving a 15-month ban. He arrived at the 1994 World Cup finals looking slim and sharp, but after Argentina's second game he tested positive for five prohibited substances. All were related to ephedrine, a stimulant found in some weight-loss products.

Jaap Stam
Stam left Manchester United for Lazio in August 2001. In October he tested positive for nandrolone, a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. He protested his innocence but was fined £30,000 by the Italian FA and suspended for five months. The drug was also found in the systems of his fellow Dutch internationals, Frank De Boer and Edgar Davids.

Kevin Thomas
Thomas, a former Scotland Under-21 midfielder, was with his St Johnstone team-mates at their 2000 Christmas party in a Perth disco when they were discovered allegedly snorting cocaine by the physio. After being sacked along with the striker George O'Boyle, Thomas eventually won an appeal for unfair dismissal but played out his career at Berwick and Montrose.

Chris Armstrong
Armstrong failed a random test in 1995, traces of cannabis being found when he was with Crystal Palace. The striker was not banned after agreeing to undergo counselling. His career soon recovered, with a move to Tottenham and at 32 he is now with Wrexham.

Mark Bosnich
Bosnich is arguably the British game's highest-profile drug casualty. The detection of cocaine traces last December cost the Australian goalkeeper his career at Chelsea, whom he joined after a second spell at Manchester United. He claimed his drink was spiked in a nightclub but lost his appeal against an FA ban, later admitting a £3,000-a-week addiction.

Roger Stanislaus
Stanislaus, who looked set for a bright career when Arsenal signed him as a teenager, had drifted down the divisions to Leyton Orient when he earned the unwanted distinction of being the first player to test positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 1996. The substance was cocaine and the defender was sacked for his offence. He failed to resurface in League football.

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