Giovanella to fight drugs ban through the courts

March 15, 2006

MADRID, March 15 (Reuters) - Celta Vigo midfielder Everton Giovanella is to continue a fight to clear his name through the courts, after the latest setback in his battle against a two-year ban for a positive drug test.

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 lost his latest appeal against a two-year ban on Tuesday.

'I am going to keep on fighting until the very end. If they think they can beat me by wearing me down they will be proved wrong,' Giovanella was quoted as telling a news conference by sports daily Marca on Wednesday.

'Now we will go to the courts which is where I will win. I have to prove my innocence.'

Giovanella recorded a level of 3.7 nanograms per litre of 19-norandrosterone when the permitted limit is two nanograms. He has consistently denied that he knowingly took any drug.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) handed out the two-year ban in September and rejected an appeal in November.

He then took his fight to the Spanish Committee for Sports Discipline (CEDD) who upheld the RFEF's decision on Tuesday.