Middlesbrough FC defender Abel Xavier has failed in his appeal against an 18-month suspension for a breach of anti-doping regulations.
UEFA's Appeals Body met today to consider Xavier's case after he appealed against a 23 November ruling by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Committee. It followed the positive result of a doping control test the Portuguese player underwent at the UEFA Cup match against Skoda Xanthi FC in Greece on 29 September.
Middlesbrough signed the 33-year-old former international on a free transfer in August after his release by AS Roma. He was capped 20 times by Portugal and has played for clubs across Europe including SL Benfica, Galatasaray SK, Real Oviedo, PSV Eindhoven, Everton FC and Liverpool FC. Xavier can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within ten days of being notified in writing of today's decision.
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