Belfast Telegraph

Wenger: Toure took wife's diet pill

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure failed a drugs test after taking a diet pill belonging to his wife, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in a press conference on Friday.

Wenger has spoken with the former Gunners captain since news broke of his positive test for a specified substance.

"He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems and he took the product of his wife," said Wenger.

Toure could face a lengthy ban and is currently suspended from playing for City. The 29-year-old moved to Eastlands in 2009 having spent seven seasons at Arsenal, and Wenger spoke of his character in glowing terms and insisted Toure's error was failing to check the legality of the product he took.

"I think it is a mistake. He was not cautious enough. I don't think there's a desire there to do something wrong and hide it," added Wenger.

"It is a complete surprise because I had Kolo Toure here for years, I brought him here. He is a boy who has a clean life. He's very honest living, always at home, a family man, and I don't suspect him at all to have taken drugs to enhance his performances. I just think it is a mistake by forgetting to ask, 'Can I take that?'."

In line with Football Association regulations, Toure has been suspended following confirmation that a "specified substance" was found in an A sample, believed to have been given after last month's derby at Old Trafford.

Toure's problem is that under the strict liability rules that surround all cases of this nature, the Ivorian must prove his innocence. And that is where he may have a problem according to Michele Verroken, founding director of Sporting Integrity and formerly UK Sport's Director of Drug-Free Sport.

"There are enough warnings out there," she said. "It is a risk for any professional athlete to take any supplements without speaking to their club's medical staff first.

"If what is being said by Mr Wenger is correct, then it is what we call a fat burner, which increases the heart rate. You simply cannot afford to be taking this stuff. There is no excuse."


From Belfast Telegraph