Blues blast Mutu ban

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Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon says that Adrian Mutu's drugs ban is far too lenient.

The FA handed a seven month suspension to the Romanian marksman after he failed a drugs test, also fining him £20,000.

Chelsea sacked the former Parma man as soon as they discovered he had taken drugs, and believe that he should have been more severely punished.

Kenyon released a statement on behalf of the Stamford Bridge club blasting the FA's handling of the matter, saying the leniency of the penalty sends out the wrong message.

"Chelsea is extremely disappointed with today's verdict," said Kenyon's statement.

"We believe it is far too lenient and sends out the wrong message about drugs in football. It is also indicative of a lack of direction within the FA at this time.

"As a club we can only take the action we believe is right for Chelsea.

"However the FA has a much wider responsibility to look after the interests of the game as a whole and in this case we believe it has shown itself to be weak over the issue of drugs."

The length of the ban means that Mutu can return to action next May, much early than Chelsea could have anticipated when they sacked a player they paid over £15 million for.

Mutu can now be signed by another club for nothing next summer, and a number of clubs, including Arsenal, have already hinted at an interest in him.

Romanian national coach Anghel Iordanescu will do everything he can to help Mutu, including arranging a friendly to mark his return next May - while also inviting him to train with his squad.

"Mutu called me minutes after he knew the FA decision and we agreed to set up a friendly in May 2005 in order to help him," said Iordanescu.

"I asked Mutu to come with us for training so he will feel he is still part of the national team."

Chelsea 2/5 Draw 3/1 Everton 13/2 -
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