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14 Agustus 2008

Mutu ordered to pay Chelsea £13.8m in compensation

Adrian Mutu can finally count the true cost of his positive drug test at Chelsea after Fifa yesterday ordered him to pay £13.8m in damages to his former club. It is the biggest fine ever handed down to a football player.
The world game's governing body calculated the compensation according to the value of the remaining period on a contract that was cancelled by Chelsea in October 2004, after he tested positive for cocaine. Mutu, now 29, is almost certain to appeal. He served a seven-month ban and paid a £20,000 fine at the time.
The first legal wrangle in this case had taken Mutu and Chelsea to the Premier League and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which both ruled for the club to sack him. Chelsea then applied under Fifa's laws for compensation after dismissing Mutu for "sporting just cause".
But its lawyers perversely decided in October 2006 that the Disputes Resolution Chamber (DRC) it had set up to consider such cases could not take on this one, saying it was a contractual matter between two independent parties. That took Chelsea back to the CAS, which found that: "The DRC does have jurisdiction to determine the appropriate sanction and/or order for compensation. Mutu is not entitled to object to Fifa jurisdiction."
In the meantime Mutu, who cost Chelsea £15.8m from Parma in August 2003, has extended his contract at Fiorentina - a club the Romanian striker joined in July 2006 for €8m (£5.7m) after signing for Juventus in January 2005 on a free and even though his ban was not spentuntil May. Chelsea argued that this imperilled contractual stability throughout football.
"This is an important decision for football," last night's Chelsea statement read. "Not only did the DRC make us a very significant monetary award, the decision also recognised the damaging effect incidents involving drugs have on football and the responsibilities we all have in this area. Chelsea is delighted."