HULL CITY midfielder Jake Livermore has been suspended by his club and the Football Association after failing a drugs test.
The 25-year-old tested positive for a banned substance after playing in Hull’s win at Crystal Palace on April 25.
The Daily Telegraph reported the drug found in the sample he provided was cocaine, which is considered recreational but is still on football’s banned list.
A Hull City statement said: “The Football Association has suspended Hull midfielder Jake Livermore.
“Following suspension by the FA the club has subsequently suspended Jake Livermore pending further investigations to be made by the FA and our own internal disciplinary procedures”.
“The club is unable to make any further comment during this process.”
The player’s agent could not be reached for comment.
The Football Association released a statement on this evening announcing a player, who it did not name but was believed to be Livermore, had been suspended.
The statement read: “In line with its anti-doping regulations the FA can confirm it has issued a provisional suspension to a participant following a positive test for a prohibited substance. The FA will make no further comment until it has completed its investigations into this matter.”
FA rules indicate the player could be facing a ban of between six months and two years if the positive results are confirmed.
Livermore, whose England cap came in a friendly against Italy in 2012, joined Hull on a season-long loan from Tottenham in 2013 and completed a permanent move in June last year.
He has played in 35 of his team’s 36 league games this season - scoring in the home defeat against his former club in November.
The Tigers, who play at Spurs on Saturday before finishing their campaign with a home match against Manchester United, are currently two points from safety.
Players failing drug tests is a rare occurrence. Of 1,604 checks carried out last season, there were only four violations.
The highest profile drug-use case in the English leagues involved goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
The Australian was charged by the FA with breaching doping regulations and bringing the game into disrepute after testing positive for cocaine in December 2002.
Chelsea sacked Bosnich and although he then appealed to the Premier League, it concluded he was not unfairly dismissed. He was banned for nine months in April 2003.
Chelsea also sacked Romania striker Adrian Mutu in 2004 after he too tested positive for cocaine.
West Ham’s Shaun Newton received a seven-month suspension after testing positive for cocaine following an FA Cup semi-final in 2006, while Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper Billy Turley was banned for six months and sacked by his club following a positive test for the same drug in 2004.
Rio Ferdinand, then at Manchester United, received an eight-month ban after missing a drugs test in September 2003. The player passed a test 36 hours later but was nevertheless hit with the lengthy punishment.