Hull Midfielder Escapes Suspension After Testing Positive For Cocaine

Hull City midfielder Jake Livermore will not face suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.

In May, the Championship side announced they have suspended the 25-year-old, following provisional suspension by the Football Association (FA) after the midfielder tested positive for cocaine.

Livermore, who faced a possible two-year ban, tested positive after the death of his newborn child.

The midfielder’s B Sample also tested positive for the banned substance Benzoylecgonine, which according to the FA is “a metabolite of cocaine and a prohibited non-specified stimulant.”

A disciplinary hearing took place last week at the Wembley Stadium which it was decided the FA would not extend its provisional suspension.

A statement by the English FA said that “the player admitted the FA’s Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV),” but the body moved against sanctioning him because of what it termed “exceptional and unique circumstances surrounding the case.”

Jake Livermore Will Not Be Suspended By the FA after Failed Dope Test. Image: Getty.
Jake Livermore Will Not Be Suspended By the FA after Failed Dope Test. Image: Getty.

A chunk of those circumstances – most of which were redacted – in an FA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee report, established the absence of “fault or negligence” on the part of Livermore.

The commission was however able to ascertain that the one-time England international “knew and intended taking cocaine,” but the medical evidence given by his psychiatrist, who also gave evidence at last week’s hearing, proved that he was under a certain “degree of impairment” as he was suffering from “depression” following the death of his son.

And in accordance with Regulation 67 of the 2014-15 FA Anti-Doping Rule (representing the World Anti-Doping Code 2009), findings from the players’ admittance and testimonies from witnesses – suggests that he “did not know or suspect and could not reasonably have known or suspected even with the exercise of utmost caution, that he had used a prohibited substance.”

Hull, who also suspended Livermore following the results of his positive tests, have yet to comment on whether he will now be available to play.

Livermore joined Hull from Tottenham for £8m in August 2014 after a season-long loan and made 35 league appearances last season as the Tigers were relegated to the Championship.

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