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Manchester City admit doping rules breach

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Manchester City teammates celebrate following the English Premier League football match against Arsenal December 18, 2016 © AFP/File / Oli SCARFF

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jan 27 – Manchester City are to appear before the Football Association after admitting breaching anti-doping rules, a club spokesman told AFP on Friday.

The Premier League side are now set to be fined around £25,000 ($31,000, 29,000 euros) after being charged with failing to ensure anti-doping officials knew where their players were for drug-testing.

City had until 1600 GMT Friday to respond after being given more time to assess the charge, which was levelled earlier this month following an alleged third violation of ‘whereabouts’ rules in the last 12 months.

City have now informed the FA, English football’s governing body, they will not be contesting he charge and face a sanction of five figures.

Clubs must provide accurate details of training sessions and player whereabouts so they are available for testing at all times.

A date will now be set for an Independent Regulatory Commission to hear the case.

No specific details of the three incidents involved have been made public, but it is understood City face a general misconduct charge rather than one relating to particular individuals.

Sources have indicated the hearing will be held within the next few days or at most two weeks, rather than months.

The FA conducts drug testing post-match, at training sessions and at players’ home addresses.

Players can be selected for a drug test in either a random or a targeted basis.

In the last FA figures published, in 2014, there were nine violations from a total of 152,286 samples.

The charge facing City is purely an FA matter as the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping do not have the jurisdiction to cover violations of drug rules by sports teams.

Any fine will be ploughed back into football via the FA, which is a non-profit making organisation.

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