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Doping hits English soccer

London: English football was rocked on Thursday by news of the first case of a player testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone.

The Football Association confirmed that a player had tested positive for the drug, but refused to identify him, state his nationality or even say which division he was playing in, pending the completion of an investigation.

But British media suggested the player was English and played for a football league club rather than in the Premier League.

The FA were alerted to the case by UK Sportís anti-doping programme which carried out a total of 4,116 drug tests on British sports men and women in the period from April and September this year.

The quarterly doping report covered the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and football matches in the English leagues.

Nandrolone is one of the most controversial drugs in sport because it is thought to be produced, in minute quantities, by the body itself, making it difficult to assess whether positive tests are actually the result of athletes consciously seeking to enhance their performances illegally.

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