Peterborough United defender Josh Yorwerth is reportedly facing a four-year ban for avoiding drug testers at his city home.
The Daily Mail is reporting Yorwerth (23) admitted to an Football Association disciplinary hearing that he took cocaine days before drug testers arrived at his home to administer a random test.
Testing postive for cocaine carries a three-month maxium ban, but avoiding a test is treated far more seriously. The rules were tightened up after Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was handed an eight month ban for missing a scheduled test in 2003.
The Mail says testers turned up at the player’s home on a weekday in September. Yorwerth is understood to have taken cocaine over the previous weekend and falsely believed that a positive test would result in a two-year ban rather than the maximum three months.
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If Yorwerth had taken the test and it was found to be positive he would have remained anonymous under FA rules.
But the Mail says Yorwerth’s subsequent decision not to answer the door to the testers led to an FA hearing at Wembley last week where he was handed the mandatory four-year ban for test evasion, although he can appeal against the sentence. The proposed ban is thought to be the longest in professional English football history for an anti-doping offence, although the FA are yet to confirm the punishment.
Posh signed Yorwerth for an undisclosed fee from Crawley last summer, but he has started just one game for the club, a Checkatrade Trophy tie at MK Dons in September.
He last appeared for Posh as a substitute in a 4-2 League One win at Gillingham later that month.
Soon afterwards the club announced Yorwerth was absent from London Road because of personal reasons before the FA announced in December he faced a doping charge.
Our sister paper the Peterborough Telegraph understands Posh will be releasing a statement later today.