Mutu learns length of ban

Romanian set for October return

Mutu: Suspended

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Adrian Mutu will not return to action until late October after being suspended for failing a drugs test.

The Fiorentina forward was found to have traces of the anti-obesity substance sibutramine in his system after matches against Bari on 10th January and Lazio 10 days later.

He has not been able to play for nearly three months as his case was considered but the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal have now handed out their final ruling.

The verdict is that the Romanian must serve a nine-month ban, starting from when he last played in January.

"Nine-month ban for Adrian Mutu - this is the decision taken by the anti-doping tribunal regarding the positive test for the substance sibutramine by the Viola player," read a statement on the club's official website.

"The ban will end on October 29, 2010.

"The Viola player had been suspended since January 29 after the positive tests following the game against Bari on January 10 and Lazio on January 20 in the Italian Cup."

Mutu, who was sacked by Chelsea in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine, admitted taking the substance but had hoped to avoid a lengthy suspension.

Harsh

There had been calls for him to be banned for a year, but Mutu still reacted with disappointment to news of the nine-month suspension.

"I feel this is a harsh punishment," he said. "It seems too much. I expected less because, yes, the mistake was made, it's right to pay, but not so much.

"I would like to add that I am sorry for having left Fiorentina without my services for the next few months, both for the club and for the fans."

Mutu has rebuilt his career since moving to Fiorentina in 2006 following a disappointing spell with Juventus, netting 50 goals in 91 appearances.

The suspension will come as a major blow to Fiorentina, although the 31-year-old still has the option of appealing against the ruling.