Everton drugs ban upheld, Celta appeal again

November 8, 2005

MADRID, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Celta Vigo's bid to have midfielder Everton Giovanella's two-year ban for a positive drug test overturned has been rejected by the Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) Appeals Committee.

Empics / PhotoEverton Giovanella: Two-year ban.

The club told sports daily Marca on Tuesday they would now take the case to the Spanish Committee for Sports Discipline (CEDD), citing errors of form and substance in the case.

The 35-year-old Brazilian tested positive for a metabolite of the banned steroid nandrolone in December 2004 in a random test after a second division match against Pontevedra.

He recorded a level of 3.7 nanograms per litre of 19-norandrosterone. The permitted limit is two nanograms.

In September the RFEF's Competitions Committee handed the player a two-year ban, which was suspended following the club's appeal.

Celta used a World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) study to argue that some urine samples could generate the metabolite of nandrolone naturally, if they were not stored correctly.

Giovanella has denied that he knowingly took any drug and has said that if necessary he would go to court to prove his innocence.

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Carlos Gurpegi tested positive for 19-norandrosterone at the start of the 2002-2003 season but has not yet received a definitive sanction after taking the case to court.

The 25-year-old is a fixture in the Bilbao first team, and his club say they have proof he produces the substance naturally as a consequence of physical exercise.