Jake Livermore: Hull City deal may be ripped up for positive drugs test

PFA chief Gordon Taylor calls for better drug education in football

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The Independent Online

Hull City are weighing up whether to terminate Jake Livermore’s contract after the midfielder tested positive for cocaine, as Gordon Taylor called for better drug education in football.

After a weekend in which three players in England were suspended for positive tests, Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, warned that those in the game taking recreational drugs do not appreciate the consequences for their careers and families. As well as Livermore, whose manager Steve Bruce said his player’s actions were “ridiculous”, Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey and Sheffield United forward Jose Baxter were suspended by their clubs on Saturday.

“The education and regulations need to be enhanced, clearly,” Taylor said. “They have probably never appreciated the seriousness of what’s happened,” he told BBC Radio 5 live. “They probably do not appreciate the consequences, not just for them and their careers, but for their families.”

Bruce said he intended to speak to the Hull owner, Assem Allam, and when asked about the possibility of Livermore being sacked, replied: “Knowing the owner the way I do, I think he’d want to do the right thing.”

Taylor confirmed all three suspensions followed positive tests for social and recreational drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, as opposed to performance-enhancing drugs.

The Football Association’s anti-doping regulations prohibit players from taking social drugs at any time. Footballers found guilty of taking drugs “recreationally” can be banned for up to six months. A positive post-match test for social drugs can lead to a two-year ban.