In the sporting world, doping refers to any attempt by a player, or at the instigation of another person such as manager, coach, trainer, doctor, physiotherapist or masseur, to enhance mental and physical performance physiologically or to treat ailment or injury when it is not medically justified. This includes using (taking or injecting) administering or prescribing prohibited substances prior to or during competition. It also applies to out-of-competition testing for anabolic steroid and peptide hormones as well as substances producing similar effects.
But in spite of the doping control mechanism adopted by sports bodies, sportsmen and women have continued to take performance enhancing drugs both during and after competitions. Here are the top 10 world class footballers who have been caught doing drugs.
This list will include both the failure for tests of recreational drugs and performance enhancing drugs.
10. Jake Livermore The former Hull City midfielder impressed in his debut season at the KC Stadium, on loan from Tottenham, but has failed to live up to his extortionate £8 million price tag. Jake Livermore And to compound his poor season, the 26-year-old failed a drugs test in May 2015 almost a year after his newborn son, Jake Junior died. The test revealed Livermore had taken cocaine but the Football Association decided not to ban him because of “the unique nature of circumstances” involved. Jake had said his positive test for cocaine came as a relief and was the “get out of jail free card” he needed to start to come to terms with the death of his son.
9. Kolo Toure Kolo Toure played at Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool in the English premier league and now a defender at Scottish Premiership club, Celtic. In 2011, the centre-back was banned for six months after failing a drug test.
Unlike some of the others on this list, Toure’s case was a bit different. The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) found a specified substance in his urine sample which the Ivorian claimed was the result of him taking one of his wife’s diet pills. The panel decided Toure was telling the truth
8. Garry O’Connor
The former Hibernian and Scotland striker, Garry O’Connor tested positive for cocaine back in 2009 while playing at Premier League side, Birmingham City. Garry O’Connor He later revealed the severity of his situation, as he blew his entire £4 million career earnings and now lives in a council house. The 33-year-old who currently plays for minnows, Selkirk FC in the fifth tier of Scottish football seems to still be struggling with addiction. He was handed 200 hours community service when his Mercedes crashed and he was found in possession of cocaine in 2014.
7. Adrian Mutu Adrian Mutu’s situation at Chelsea is one of the messiest in modern footballing history. Adrian Mutu After scoring 22 goals in 36 matches with Italian Serie A side, Parma during the 2002/03 season, Mutu was billed as one of the finest young strikers in the world. In August 2003, Chelsea paid Parma over $25 million to secure his services. Part of Roman Abramovich’s vision for the transformation of Chelsea into a European superpower, Mutu left disgraced after a number of fall-outs with Jose Mourinho, a failed drug test, contract termination and a lawsuit
6. Mark Bosnich Former Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Chelsea goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich had a career marred by controversy in large parts. Mark Bosnich From Nazi salutes to reckless driving, it’s never been plain-sailing with the Australian. However, his lowest moment came in 2002 when he failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine, which led to Chelsea immediately terminating his $100,000 a week contract. Bosnich’s addiction became more serious, as he was taking 10g of cocaine a day, costing him over $5,000 a week and he became a recluse, retiring at just 31.
5. Jaap Stam Jaap Stam was one of the best defenders of his time (the late 1990s and early 200s). He was strong, quick and technically good. Jaap Stam He won trophies at PSV, Manchester United, Lazio, AC Milan and Ajax, he also played 67 times for the Netherlands. However, back in 2001, he failed a drug test, testing positive for steroid nandrolone and was given a five-month ban. After some appeals, his ban was reduced to just one month. He went on to have a great career nevertheless. He is is currently the manager of Reading FC.
4. Fernando Couto Fernando Couto is a widely-respected central defender who won doubles in Portugal, Spain, and Italy in a 21-year career which saw him turn out for the likes of Porto, Parma, and Barcelona. Fernando Couto Couto tested positive to steroid nandrolone in 2001 while at Lazio. He denied the allegations but a ‘B’ test confirmed them, and he served 4 months of a 9-month ban and was fined $60,000. He represented Portuguese national team in 110 games, taking part in the 2002 World Cup. Couto retired in 2010 and become Director of Football for Braga and currently the club’s assistant manager.
3. Edgar Davids Edgar Davids, the popular Dutch footballer who was tough, tireless and technically tremendous couldn’t escape the nandrolone hype back in the early 2000s. Edgar Davids Davids tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone in 2001 at the time he was playing for Juventus and faced a two-year ban. But ultimately got away with only four months on the sidelines. He later played for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Ajax and Crystal Palace. In 2012, he was appointed player-manager at the English League Two club, Barnet. He resigned by mutual agreement as manager in January 2014.
2. Pep Guardiola Pep Guardiola who is now one of Europe’s best managers from his time at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City, had received a four-month ban for testing positive for anabolic steroids in 2001 when he was playing for Roma. Pep Guardiola Guardiola was adamant in his defense against any wrong doing and fought the case for six years. In 2007, he was officially cleared of the drug charges. However, the case was reopened in 2008 before Pep was once again cleared in 2009.
1. Diego Maradona Diego Armando Maradona is arguably one of the greatest talents the game has ever seen. His combination of speed, balance, grace, skill and vision made him virtually unplayable when he was on-song. The mercurial forward suffered from addiction problems that destroyed large portions of his career. Thrice he was banned from the sport for testing positive for prohibited substances. Diego Maradona He failed a drug test in March of 1991, earning a 15-month ban and effectively ending his golden period in Italy with Napoli. During the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States, he once again tested positive, marking a solemn end to his international career with Argentina while earning another 15-month ban from football. Maradona’s final positive test occurred in 1997, signalling the end of his illustrious career. In an interview for the 2008 film ‘Maradona’ by Kusturica, Maradona