Xavier appeals doping ban

Middlesbrough FC's Portuguese defender Abel Xavier is appealing against his 18-month suspension by UEFA for a breach of anti-doping regulations.

Positive result
UEFA suspended the Portuguese player last week, following the positive result of a doping control test he underwent at the UEFA Cup match between Middlesbrough and Skoda Xanthi FC in Greece on 29 September.

A and B samples
"The analysis of both the A and B samples revealed the presence of Methandienone, a substance that is classified under the category of anabolic steroids in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2005 Prohibited List," said UEFA in announcing the verdict. "The player was found guilty of being in breach of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations."

Free transfer
Middlesbrough signed the 33-year-old former Portuguese international on a free transfer in August following his release by AS Roma. He was capped 20 times by Portugal and has played for clubs across Europe including SL Benfica, Galatasaray SK, PSV Eindhoven, Everton FC and Liverpool FC.