Hull City midfielder Jake Livermore will avoid a ban for his failed drugs test after the Football Association took into account his extenuating personal circumstances.
Livermore tested positive for cocaine in April, and was initially expected to be handed a lengthy ban from the game. Failing an in-competition drugs test for a Class A drug carries a potential two-year ban.
However, it has since emerged that Livermore turned to the drug in order to cope with a personal tragedy. Livermore suffered from depression after the loss of his new-born baby. He is thought to have taken the drug the evening following the inquest into his daughter’s death.
The circumstances gave the FA a difficult decision to make, and the governing body have decided against enforcing a ban.
The FA’s rules on exceptional or extenuating circumstances in drugs cases are as follows:
Decisions taken under these Regulations regarding exceptional or specific circumstances must be consistent. Therefore the following principles shall apply –
(a) Exceptional or specific circumstances will exist only where the circumstances are truly exceptional and not in the vast majority of cases;
(b) The evidence must be decisive and specific to explain the departure from expected standards of behaviour;
(c) A Player’s or Participant’s minority is not in itself a justification of a reduction of the minimum penalty, but youth and inexperience are factors to be taken into account in determining fault.