Belfast Telegraph

City face fine after pleading guilty to anti-doping breach

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City have pleaded guilty to breaching the Football Association's anti-doping rules, it is understood.

The club were charged earlier this month following an alleged third violation of 'club whereabouts' rules in 12 months.

Clubs are required to keep the FA informed of the location of their players in order to facilitate drug testing.

City had until 4pm yesterday to respond to the charge. They will now face a hearing in front of an independent regulatory commission. This could take place within the next fortnight and a fine is thought to be the most likely outcome.

City's obligations under club whereabouts rules would include providing the times of training sessions, home addresses of players or other addresses where the team may stay overnight.

The rules state a breach occurs "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".

A "three-strike" policy is operated, meaning that a charge is only triggered after three infringements in the space of a rolling one-year period.

No specific details of the three incidents have been given but it is understood the charge was one of misconduct relating to the club in general rather than any particular individuals.

The charge is of a breach of FA rules only and is not under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency or UK Anti-Doping, who do not deal with team violations.

City have not commented on the matter.

Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany could return to the City starting line-up in the FA Cup fourth round at Crystal Palace today.

City's injury-plagued captain is back in contention after overcoming a knee injury sustained against the same opposition at Selhurst Park in November.

The 30-year-old was an unused substitute for last week's Premier League draw against Tottenham.

Manager Pep Guardiola said: "We'll see but he is fit, ready."

Kompany has not played a full game since April. His return could coincide with a first start for Gabriel Jesus, the £27m Brazil striker who made his debut as a substitute against Spurs.

Guardiola pointed out City found Palace tough to break down in their last encounter. He said: "It was a tough game. We won but we didn't play well and I imagine a tough game in the FA Cup."

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