Kolo Touré Fails Drug Test: Drugs in Football Resurface

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 4, 2011

Why me?
Why me?Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Success in football is determined by technical ability supplemented by physical ability; thus taking performance-enhancing drugs does not guarantee instant improvement.

This is unlike cycling, where success is determined by physical ability, hence why the use of performance-enhancing drugs is so prevalent.

Substance abuse of recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine is often exhibited in footballers sabotaging their own lives through their reckless way of living.

So it does come as a surprise when a footballer like Kolo Touré's career is suspended in limbo having tested positive for a banned stimulant.

With regards to recreational drugs, Touré being a devoted Muslim theoretically would abstain from drugs and alcohol as prescribed by the prophet Muhammad.

Also there haven't been any red flags in Touré's past to suggest he would be living such a reckless lifestyle like Mark Bosnich, who was suspended for nine months after testing positive for cocaine. Bosnich's crippling addiction to cocaine, compounded by depression and rapid weight gain, essentially ended his professional career at just 31.

Under these circumstances, it would be logical to rule out recreational drugs triggering a positive drug test.

Now the question is why would Touré take performance-enhancing drugs? It isn't like the case of Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi, whose stints with Perugia, Udinese and Sampdoria were only possible due to his father, Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

In four seasons, Al-Saadi spent most of his time watching football, and ex-Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci once recounted a conversation with Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, who encouraged more playing time for al-Gaddafi, as it would strengthen Italian-Libyan relations.

In 2003, Al-Saadi tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone and was banned for three months. It wasn't a surprise given he would have used the performance-enhancing drug to compensate his technical deficiencies. The interesting fact was Al-Saadi hadn't even played for Perugia yet, so he was enhancing his performance to just make the first 11.

Touré is a world-class centre back, he is earning astronomical wages and there is no need for him to dope. What may have triggered the positive drug test was him accidentally taking a supplement which contained a banned stimulant.

This was the case of Paddy Kenny, who took a type of cough medicine which contained the banned stimulant ephedrine. The case is almost laughable, as it makes no sense whatsoever for a goalkeeper to take performance-enhancing drugs, but it was no laughing matter for Kenny, who served a nine-month suspension.

As a professional athlete, Touré is responsible for what enters into his body, and unless he can prove a third party acted with devious intent to enter a banned stimulant into his body without his consent, then he'll have to serve out his suspension.