Guardiola finally cleared on doping charges

October 23, 2007

MILAN, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Pep Guardiola has been cleared on appeal of testing positive for nandrolone in 2001 while playing for Italy's Brescia.

The 36-year-old, appointed coach of Barcelona B in June, was given a seven-month suspended prison sentence in 2005 because of the case.

'Finally after six years I can close this chapter. I wanted to go to appeal to demonstrate my innocence,' Guardiola was quoted as saying by Italy's ANSA news service.

Guardiola was banned for four months in Jan. 2002 by the Italian league when former Lazio defender Jaap Stam was suspended for five months for the same offence.

His case ended up going to the criminal courts and he will celebrate his appeal victory by attending Brescia's Serie B match with Mantova later on Tuesday.