It has been 17 years since Adrian Mutu's short-lived Chelsea career came crashing down in disgrace when he tested positive for cocaine use – earning him a seven-month ban from football.
Mutu completed a £16million switch to the Blues from Parma in 2003 and enjoyed a disappointing debut campaign at Stamford Bridge, despite scoring four goals in his first four Premier League appearances under Claudio Ranieri.
The Romanian striker only bagged another two for the remainder of the season, and reports suggested new boss Jose Mourinho – who replaced the sacked Ranieri in 2004 – tried to offload him that summer.
Chelsea could not find any suitors for him in the transfer market, meaning he stayed put at the start of the 2004/05 season.
Nevertheless, just one month into that season Mutu was slapped with a seven-month ban from football after returning a positive drug test.
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The disgraced star declined to have his B sample tested and instead owned up entirely to the wrongdoing, which saw him suspended from playing at professional level until May 2005.
His representative, Ioan Becali, revealed that the test only took place because his client missed a training session after a Champions League tie against Paris St-Germain.
"He didn't play well against Villa so he didn't merit inclusion against Paris St Germain in the Champions League a few days later," Becali said.
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"Three players missed a training session after that game. Mutu was one."
Having terminated his deal, Chelsea started to seek compensation from Mutu in early 2005 for breach of contract, which was only granted by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber three years later following numerous appeals from both parties.
The player, who was on Fiorentina's books at the time, was ordered to pay around £16million to his old club and failed with another appeal one year later.
It was the highest fine ever levied by FIFA, and Mutu later lodged a third unsuccessful appeal in 2018.
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Mutu spent two years at Juventus after departing Chelsea before heading to Fiorentina, where he remained until he failed another drug test in 2010, earning him a new nine-month ban.
He had tested positive for appetite suppressant sibutramine.
He departed the club a year later and enjoyed further stints in Italy, France, India and his native Romania before hanging up his boots in 2016.
The 42-year-old has since ventured into management and is currently in charge of Romanian club FC U Craiova.
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