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Manchester City Handed Fine For Breaching Anti-Doping Rules

Football Club Manchester City has been punished by the English Football Association after the club admitted it had breached anti-doping regulations.

The club has been fined £35,000 and warned about their future conduct by the English Football Association (FA) after the admission. Last month, the Premier League side was warned failing to keep their 'club whereabouts' information accurate for the purposes of drugs tests. Clubs, under the FA rules, are duty bound to keep records of training dates, the start and end times of sessions, where the sessions take place and the overnight addresses of their players.

In a statement, the FA said Manchester City have been fined £35,000 and warned as to their future conduct after admitting a breach of the FA's rules on anti-doping. City was charged with failing to ensure their 'Club Whereabouts' information was accurate, contrary to Regulation 14(d) following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

Regulation 14(d) specifies it shall also be a breach of this regulation 14 by the club if the information contained in such reports is either initially inaccurate or has not been updated by the club as necessary to ensure it remains accurate.

In another development, Bournemouth has been charged by the Football Association for failing to ensure anti-doping officials knew where players were for drugs testing. Bournemouth has until 23 February to respond to the charge.

The Football Association (FA) operates a policy of "three strikes" in relation to breaches of 'club whereabouts' information. It is a complex system that covers the first-team, under-23s, and under-18s. Clubs are required to disclose to the GA by [10:00] GMT on a Monday where their players are going to be for the remainder of that week. This information includes training times, days off, travel, home addresses, and hotels.

The FA has to be notified if the information - training times or days off for instance - change during the week. UK anti-doping officials are entitled to carry out tests at random. A breach is constituted if the player or players are not at the location they are supposed to be. The clubs are made aware of this and the FA issues a charge after three breaches.

Gary Neville, former England international, has expressed his displeasure over the charges by FA for clubs in relation to breaching anti-doping rules. Rio Ferdinand, Neville's then Manchester United and England teammate, was banned for eight months for failing to take a drugs test that resulted in the defender missing Euro 2004. England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson was told to leave him out of the squad for a match against Turkey in October 2003 with Ferdinand's hearing looming that prompted England players to vote unanimously to threaten to strike unless he was recalled. The proposed strike was eventually averted but Neville has remained critical of the Football Association. The former England international accused the organization of "hanging Ferdinand out to dry" and prejudging the case. Ferdinand was found guilty of the misconduct charge, banned for eight months, and received a fine of £50,000.

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Albert Wolfgang
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