BANNED JAKE IN CLEAR TO RE­TURN

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By David Marsh

THE Football As­so­ci­a­tion have con­firmed Hull City midfielder Jake Liver­more will face no sus­pen­sion af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance, though this will not set a prece­dent for fu­ture hear­ings.

The 25-year-old for­mer Tot­ten­ham man was sus­pended by the FA and his club in May af­ter fail­ing a drug test fol­low­ing Hull’s match with Crys­tal Palace in April, pend­ing the out­come of a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

Liver­more has ad­mit­ted to tak­ing co­caine and there­fore breach­ing the FA’s an­tidop­ing reg­u­la­tions.

But the FA ruled fol­low­ing tes­ti­monies at an in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory com­mis­sion hear­ing that he could not be held at “fault” or had acted “neg­li­gently”.

An FA state­ment con­firmed: “Due to the spe­cific and unique na­ture of the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the case, he will face no sus­pen­sion.”

And in the com­mis­sion’s writ­ten rea­sons for their con­clu­sion, pub­lished on Thurs­day, it was ruled the of­fence “only oc­curred as a re­sult of the se­vere im­pair­ment of Mr Liver­more’s cog­ni­tive func­tions and judg­ment caused by the cir­cum­stances for which he was in no way at fault.

“The de­ci­sion is not in­tended to set a prece­dent. Each case must be con­sid­ered on its mer­its and in­di­vid­ual facts. It will be very rare case that does not fall within the ex­press sanc­tions pro­vided un­der the reg­u­la­tions and the world anti-dop­ing code. This case how­ever is a very rare case.”

Hull man­ager Steve Bruce had said last month there was “no ques­tion” the death of Liver­more’s new­born baby in 2014 had been a mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor in the failed test.

And a state­ment on the Tigers’ web­site read: “Jake’s sus­pen­sion at the club has been lifted and given the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the mat­ter, we will look to sup­port Jake as he con­tin­ues to re­cover from what has been a dif­fi­cult pe­riod for him and his fam­ily.

“Fi­nally, any in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary mea­sures will be kept con­fi­den­tial.”

NO BAN: Jake Liver­more

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