PFA chief questions Kolo Toure hearing
Tuesday 01 November 2011
Players' union chief Gordon Taylor admits Kolo Toure was "shocked" by Manchester City's decision to hold a disciplinary hearing over his failed drugs test.
Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), attended the hearing with Toure yesterday afternoon and the outcome of the gross misconduct charge is expected later this week.
Toure, who has served a six-month ban imposed by the FA, produced character references from his former club Arsenal and a number of fellow players at the hearing.
He insists he tested positive because he took one of his wife's slimming pills not knowing it contained a banned substance.
Taylor said the six-month ban was punishment enough, but City insist the PFA knew about the charge as far back as July.
Taylor told Press Association Sport: "We have had the hearing today and we presented the fact that the FA could have given him two years but only gave him six months because they took into account that it was a genuine mistake and not performance-enhancing or a diuretic to mask drug-taking.
"He also had excellent character references from Arsenal and a number of other players.
"It just seems strange that after being welcomed back to the club, reinstated as captain for Carling Cup matches, that someone has come up with this hearing.
"Instead of sending out a message that this is someone who has made a mistake and served his punishment already, they are now taking action against him again. It seems very strange against someone who is acknowledged by all concerned to have a top-class character."
Taylor said the 30-year-old Ivory Coast defender, whose brother Yaya Toure is also at Manchester City, had been shocked to find out City were to hold a disciplinary hearing.
"He trained every day while he was off and maintained a very positive attitude so he was shocked to find they were looking to take action against him."
The hearing was held by City's football administrator Brian Marwood and a City lawyer.
City's chief communications officer Vicky Kloss told Press Association Sport: "It is not a new decision - we had consultations with the PFA about this in July."
It is understood the hearing had been postponed on a number of previous occasions due to people involved being unavailable - Toure himself was in the Ivory Coast during the close season.
Latest in Sport
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Alexis Sanchez video: Turns out the Arsenal forward is brilliant at playing the piano too
James Milner lives up to 'boring' tag in brilliant Manchester City Christmas video
Premier League: Chelsea vs West Ham match preview
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever