Kolo Toure took wife's diet pill claims Arsene Wenger

Duncan Bech,Pa
Friday 04 March 2011 15:11
Poor old Kolo Touré had probably been under the misapprehension that 'no intention' could amount to the same thing as being innocent
Poor old Kolo Touré had probably been under the misapprehension that 'no intention' could amount to the same thing as being innocent

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure failed a drugs test after taking a diet pill belonging to his wife, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in a press conference today.

Wenger has spoken with the former Gunners captain since news broke of his positive test for a specified substance.

"He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems and he took the product of his wife," said Wenger.

Wenger added: "Never trust your wife! That is how he was caught."

Toure could face a lengthy ban and is currently suspended from playing for City.

The 29-year-old moved to Eastlands in 2009 having spent seven seasons at Arsenal.

Wenger spoke of his character in glowing terms and insisted Toure's error was failing to check the legality of the product he took.

"I think it is a mistake. He was not cautious enough. I don't think there's a desire there to do something wrong and hide it," said Wenger.

"It is a complete surprise because I had Kolo Toure here for years, I brought him here.

"He is a boy who has a clean life. He's very honest living, always at home, a family man, and I don't suspect him at all to have taken drugs to enhance his performances.

"I just think it is a mistake by forgetting to ask, 'Can I take that?'."

In line with Football Association regulations, Toure has been suspended following confirmation that a "specified substance" was found in an A sample, believed to have been given after last month's derby at Old Trafford.

Toure has the right to request his B sample - given at the same time - also be tested.

The Ivorian would then get the opportunity to go before a personal hearing.

Although "specified substances" do tend to be down the scale of drugs offences because the World Anti-Doping Agency accepts there are instances where credible explanations can be offered, they are still subject to a maximum two-year suspension.

Hamilton's Simon Mensing served a four-week ban earlier this season after testing positive for the stimulant Methylhexaneamine (MHA), which was present in a dietary supplement.

However, former Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny served a nine-month suspension after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

In Kenny's case, it took two months for the case to be heard and the player's defence of the drug being present in cough medicine taken to combat an infection was countered by the notion that a professional sportsman "has a strict responsibility to ensure prohibited substances do not enter his or her body" - the words of Christopher Quinlan, chairman of the Regulatory Commission that heard the Kenny case.

Should Toure's case follow a similar timescale, that would rule the 29-year-old out until the beginning of May, even before any ban.

City will presumably try to push for a hearing before that, although given the legal complexities, it might not be easy.

"The FA can confirm that a player has been provisionally suspended from playing pending investigation, having tested positive for the use of a prohibited substance," said the FA in a statement last night.

It is believed City knew of the failed test on Wednesday, explaining Toure's absence from the squad for that night's FA Cup fifth-round victory over Aston Villa.

The City statement which confirmed the news read: "He has been suspended from participating in all first team and non first-team matches pending the outcome of the legal process.

"There will be no further comment from the football club at this stage."

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