The Football Association has suspended Manchester City defender Kolo Toure six months for failing a drug test. Toure tested positive for an unspecified drug and was suspended indefinitely back on March 2. His suspension will be retroactive to March 2, meaning that he will only miss a few matches in City's 2011-2012 season.
"This has been a difficult period, and I am sad to have missed the team's triumph of securing Champions League football and the FA Cup," Toure said. "But I am relieved that I will be able to return to football in September and thank the FA's commission for their understanding."
Toure said the positive test was from taking his wife's diet pills and that he did not know the pills contained substances that were banned. The independent regulatory commission was satisfied that Toure did not knowingly break rules and his positive test was not from an attempt to enhance performance or mask another performance-enhancing drug.
The Ivorian will be eligible to play again on September 2, but he will be target tested for the next years. That two-year period begins on May 26. He will not be eligible to play in any football match or participate in any football-related activity except for anti-doping education until his six-month ban is over.
Toure had played 22 matches for City before testing positive. Even without Toure, the Citizens were able to maintain their spot in the top part of the table and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for next season.
The ban that the FA handed down to Toure is lighter than the one the FA handed Rio Ferdinand when he missed a test in 2003. Ferdinand was suspended for eight months.