Adrian Mutu is still legally obliged to pay Chelsea compensation after his latest appeal against a court order originally issued by FIFA in 2007 was denied by the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday.
Mutu appealed to the ECHR to challenge FIFA's ruling he must pay £15.3 million (€17 million) after Chelsea rescinded his contract following the player testing positive for cocaine in 2004, per the Press Association (h/t MailOnline).
Chelsea have responded to the ruling by reasserting their determination to recover lost earnings from the 39-year-old:
Mutu, who failed an anti-doping test set up by the FA while he was still on the books for the Blues, has appealed the order to offer restitution to the club four times previously.
He lodged challenges with both the English Football Association then the Court of Arbitration for Sport in late-2005, per the report. Both entities agreed with an earlier finding, "Mutu had been in breach of his contract 'without reasonable cause.'"
Another appeal to the CAS was rebuffed four years later, a decision which led Mutu to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. It was a challenge based on Mutu's belief the CAS was not impartial because one of its representatives had worked for a "law firm representing the interests of the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich."
Despite the challenge, this ruling body also dismissed the former Romania international's claim.
Mutu then took the issue to the Court of Human Rights, with the latest ruling finding "no violation of Article 6'1 (right to a fair trial) with regard to the alleged lack of independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport."
A statement from the CAS applauded the findings: "The ECHR judgement is another confirmation, this time at a continental level, that CAS is a genuine arbitration tribunal and that such sports jurisdiction is necessary for uniformity in sport."
Mutu signed for Chelsea from Parma in 2003, as one of the first big-money imports following Abramovich's arrival. He showed only glimpses of his undoubted talent, problems off the pitch stymied his potential.
The striker also tested positive for a banned substance as a Fiorentina player in 2010. He retired from football in 2016.