MX23RW : Saturday, April 4 11:05:14| >> :60:2573:2573:

On this day: Pep Guardiola fails second drug test

Thirteen years ago today, Pep Guardiola tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone for a second time.

When Pep Guardiola walks away from football, he will be remembered as one of the most cultured and talented player-turned-managers to have ever graced the game.

Yet, back in 2001, something occurred that threatened to leave Guardiola's reputation in tatters.

Following 11 largely successful years as a player with Barcelona, the holding midfielder was keen to try his hand abroad. He eventually settled on a switch to Brescia, where he would replace AC Milan-bound Andrea Pirlo.

Despite his undoubted ability, Guardiola failed to adapt to life in Serie A. Yet, on this day 13 years ago, he was hit by an even bigger suckerpunch.

It was confirmed that following a 5-0 defeat to Lazio, the 30-year-old had tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone. There had also been a trace of the substance in his system following a game against Piacenza a fortnight earlier.

A number of well-known players, including Edgar Davids and Jaap Stam, also provided positive tests at the turn of the century and like Guardiola protested their innocence.

Guardiola certainly had some high-profile people that were willing to defend him, including Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro, who said: "I believe in his innocence and his honesty as a sportsman."

Nevertheless, he was banned from football for four months and on appeal in 2005, Guardiola was actually handed a seven-month suspended jail sentence by a court in Brescia.

Even after his retirement, Guardiola, along with his close friend and former water polo player Manuel Estiarte, continued to fight the verdict.

It was in 2007 that Estiarte discovered changes in the World Anti-Doping Agency's guidelines, which stated that some athletes naturally generated a certain amount of nandrolone - something that Guardiola's legal team had insisted was the case ever since the failed tests.

So, it was in the October of that year when in charge of Barcelona B that the Brescia Court of Appeal exonerated Guardiola of all charges.

ID:186390:
Share this article now:
Xavi in action for Spain during the World Cup final on July 11, 2010.
Read Next:
Top 10 Spanish players of all time
>
Latest Sports Video
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Live scores banner
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona27184563313258
2Real Madrid27168349193056
3Sevilla27138639291047
4Real Sociedad27144945331246
5Getafe27137737251246
6Atletico MadridAtletico271112431211045
7Valencia2711973839-142
8Villarreal27115114438638
9Granada27115113332138
10Athletic Bilbao2791082923637
11Osasuna2781093438-434
12Real Betis2789103843-533
13Levante27103143240-833
14AlavesAlaves2788112937-832
15Real Valladolid27611102333-1029
16EibarEibar2776142741-1427
17Celta Vigo27511112234-1226
18Mallorca2774162844-1625
19Leganes2758142139-1823
20Espanyol2748152346-2320

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!