ROME, January 29 – Fiorentina's Romanian striker Adrian Mutu tested positive for a banned stimulant after a Serie A match against Bari earlier this month, the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) announced on Thursday.Mutu tested positive for sibutramine — a drug commonly used to combat obesity — after the 2-1 victory over Bari in which he scored, Coni said.
According to the ANSA news agency, Mutu and three other players were tested after the January 10 match in Florence.
The 31-year-old, who risks a ban of between one and four years, is already facing off-pitch problems also related to drug abuse.
Mutu was fired by Chelsea after a positive test for cocaine in 2004, not long after joining the English Premier League club. He also served a seven-month ban for use of a banned substance.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport last year upheld the 17.17-million-euro fine handed to Mutu by FIFA as a punishment for breaching his contract with Chelsea.
The Romanian says he is unable to pay the fine but has offered to make a donation to a charity in its place.
"I’ve spoken to Adrian, naturally he is a little worried, but we are optimistic," Victor Becali, one of the player’s agents, was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.
Fiorentina’s medical chief Paolo Manetti told La Gazzetta dello Sport’s website (www.gazzetta.it): "Mutu will decide within seven days whether to ask for analysis of the B sample."
He added: "Fiorentina do not administer medicines to their players."
The latest positive test is a huge blow for Fiorentina, who will likely suspend the player, one of the stars of the team alongside Italian striker Alberto Gilardino.
Mutu arrived in Florence in 2006 after a year and a half at Juventus, and this season he has played in 11 Serie A and six Champions League matches, scoring four and three goals in each competition respectively.