Middlesbrough FC defender Abel Xavier has been suspended by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Committee for 18 months for a breach of anti-doping regulations.
A UEFA statement issued on Wednesday said: "At their meeting held today at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has suspended the Middlesbrough FC player, Abel Xavier, for 18 months from all competitions, following the positive result of a doping control test undergone by the player at the UEFA Cup match, Middlesbrough FC-Skoda Xanthi FC of Greece on 29 September 2005.
A and B samples
"The analysis of both the A and B samples revealed the presence of Methandienone, a substance that is classified under the category of anabolic steroids in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2005 Prohibited List.
"The player was found guilty of being in breach of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations. As a result, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body decided to impose an 18-month ban on Abel Xavier. This decision may be appealed against within three days of receipt of the written reasoning," the statement concluded.
Middlesbrough signed the 32-year-old former Portuguese international on a free transfer in August following his release by AS Roma. He was capped 20 times by Portugal and has played for clubs across Europe including SL Benfica, Galatasaray SK, PSV Eindhoven, Everton FC and Liverpool FC.
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