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Manchester City, Manchester United and briefs

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KOLO TOURE FAILS DRUGS TEST

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure faces a two year ban from all football after testing positive for a banned substance – in a diet pill belong to his wife.

The former City captain has been suspended with immediate effect pending a full FA investigation.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who brought Toure to England, has revealed the damage was done when the player decided to use one of his wife’s diet pills in an effort to lose weight.

“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.

“Never trust your wife! That is how he was caught. 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.

“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 if he can take that.”

Ivory Coast star Toure has been informed by the English FA that an A sample taken after a recent EPL game has returned a positive result.

He is unavailable to City until the FA have carried out their investigations into his use of a ‘specified substance’.

Under guidelines set down by the World Anti-Doping Agency, a specified substance is one that is ‘more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation’.

WADA recommend bans of up to two years for such a failure.

City left the 29-year-old out of their squad for Wednesday night’s FA Cup win over Aston Villa when they became aware of his failed test.

A statement on the club’s website said: “He has been suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches pending the outcome of the legal process.

“There will be no further comment from the football club at this stage.”

The FA confirmed that Toure, who joined City from Arsenal for £14million in 2009, had tested positive.

“The FA can confirm that a player has been provisionally suspended from playing pending investigation, having tested positive for the use of a prohibited substance,” they said.

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ALEX FERGUSON IN TROUBLE AS MICHAEL CARRICK SIGNS NEW DEAL

Michael Carrick has signed a new contract with Manchester United – but manager Alex Ferguson is in trouble again.

Fergie faces anything up to a five match ban over remarks he made to the MUTV station after the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Tuesday night.

The United boss has been charged with improper conduct by the English FA over his criticism of referee Martin Atkinson and his failure to red card Blues defender David Luiz.

Reports in England say he will appeal against the charge brought after his very public attack on Atkinson.
“You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn’t get that,” Ferguson told MUTV straight after the game.

“I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst.”

Ferguson cancelled his press conference ahead of Sunday’s big EPL clash with Liverpool and won’t even talk to the club’s own MUTV station until the charge is heard.

The Scot already has a suspended two game ban hanging over him from last season but will be in the dug-out at Anfield on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Carrick has signed a new contract that will keep him with the league leaders until 2014.

“I am thoroughly enjoying my time at this great club,” said Carrick ahead of the Liverpool game.

“There is a fantastic team spirit within the squad and I am pleased to have committed my future to United.”

“We are in a very good position at the moment and I am confident this team will be successful for many years to come.”

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BRIEFS

Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg are to make a shock move to bring star striker Andrey Arshavin back home from Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger is already eyeing Celtic left-back Emilio Izaguirre as a potential replacement for Gael Clichy if the Frenchman moves next season.

AC Milan have joined Arsenal in the chase for teenage Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Championship side Nottingham Forest have failed with a bid to sign Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker on loan.

Manchester City and Tottenham both want Udinese’s Ghanaian World Cup striker Kwadwo Asamoah.

Liverpool want Genoa’s 24-year-old left-back Domenico Criscito.

Chelsea could make a sensational offer to offer manager Avram Grant to return as Director of Football in the summer.

Reports in Italy claim Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has spoken to Roma about taking over as their new boss in the summer.

Newcastle United valued Andy Carroll at just £1million when they were relegated from the Premiership in 2009, 18 months before they sold him to Liverpool for £35million.

Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson has revealed that he played 60 minutes of the Carling Cup final win over Arsenal with a broken rib.

Everton striker Victor Anichebe has reached an out of court settlement with Newcastle over a tackle from Kevin Nolan in 2009 that left him sidelined for 11 months.

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland has disclaimed reports that he slated his native Cork, slammed boss Gerard Houllier and described Birmingham as a ‘rubbish’ place to live ahead of his Newcastle debut on loan this weekend. Ireland claims he was misquoted in a French magazine interview.

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon will see a Swedish specialist about his ongoing knee problem.

West Ham have been confirmed as the new tenants of London’s Olympic Stadium after the 2012 games.

Newcastle United have agreed a fee with QPR for their winger Wayne Routledge, currently on loan with the Championship leaders.

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