Chelsea axe Mutu over failed drug test

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The Independent Online

Chelsea today sacked shamed striker Adrian Mutu after he failed a random drug test last month.

Chelsea today sacked shamed striker Adrian Mutu after he failed a random drug test last month.

The Premiership club terminated the Romanian skipper's contract on the grounds of gross misconduct.

The club have effectively written off £12million - the player's current worth on their books - and took the decision after the player's positive test for cocaine and his admission that he took the drug.

A statement from Chelsea said: "We want to make clear that Chelsea has a zero tolerance policy towards drugs. This applies to both performance-enhancing drugs or so-called 'recreational' drugs. They have no place at our club or in sport.

"In coming to a decision on this case, Chelsea believed the club's social responsibility to its fans, players, employees and other stakeholders in football regarding drugs was more important than the major financial considerations to the company.

"Any player who takes drugs breaches his contract with the club as well as FA rules. The club totally supports the FA in strong action on all drugs cases."

Chelsea's decision to terminate his contract is entirely independent of, and not affected by, any Football Association procedures.

Chelsea are actively considering all options in relation to any financial loss as a result of this case.

That means they could make a future bid for compensation but that procedure is currently without precedent in sport law.

Under the standard Premier League contract, 'gross misconduct' includes the use of, possession of, or the trafficking in, a prohibited substance.

The Football Association have yet to act in regards to Mutu and this morning refused to discuss his case.

Mutu failed a random drug test carried out by UK Sport last month and earlier this week Sports Minister Richard Caborn called for the player to be hit with a two-year ban in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's disciplinary code.

The Romanian has a reputation for living a playboy lifestyle and has been involved in sex scandals and car chases with police back home. He also had little future at the club under new manager Jose Mourinho.

He fell out with Mutu over the player's decision to play for his country against the Czech Republic in their recent World Cup qualifier. Mourinho told the Romanians Mutu was unfit but the player defied his club and played the full 90 minutes.

He was fined two weeks' wages on his return to England and the player claimed he almost hit Mourinho during a stormy meeting - an allegation denied by the Chelsea boss.

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