4 March 2011 – When it comes to bans centred around drugs, we have not been short of gripping controversies.
Rio Ferdinand’s ban for missing a drugs test was front page news. An ordeal he described as hitting “like a thunderbolt.”
Even more recently was the case of Jake Livermore, who was banned after taking cocaine as a method of coping with personal tragedy.
The most bizarre case surely is that of Kolo Toure who on 4th March 2011 who tested positive for a banned substance. The routine test was taken after a fixture earlier in Man City’s 2010/11 season.
After the case was reviewed, Toure was retroactively banned for 6 months after it was proved that he had ingested a prohibited substance. The ban was applied from March and Toure did not play a part in the rest of the season.
At the time Toure was Manchester City’s stand-out centre-half, and was regularly producing assured displays.
The architect of Toure’s downfall was not some renowned performance enhancing super powder, or something taken for recreational purposes.
No, it was the seemingly innocuous decision to dabble with his wife’s diet pill that caused such a furore.
It was a folly that Toure himself described as, “incredibly stupid”.
The dietary pill falls into the World Anti-Doping Agency’s specified substance list, and are described as being, “more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation”.
While the idea of a two-year ban was touted, the fact that these diet pills were in the ‘specified substance list’, meant that Kolo Toure was back playing the following season, where his performances earned him the linear move Liverpool.
After a series of error-prone displays, Toure settled and helped guide the Merseyside club to the Europa League final in 2015, where serial winners Sevilla proved too strong to defeat.
Since then Kolo has made the move north of the border to Celtic, paving the way for the next step in his life by becoming a member of Brendan Rodgers’ coaching set up.