Mutu legal challenge dismissed by ECHR

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Adrian Mutu’s latest legal challenge against having to pay Chelsea compensation for failing a drugs test has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.

Former Romania striker Mutu’s contract with the Premier League club was terminated after traces of cocaine showed up in an anti-doping test by the Football Association during October 2004.

The forward subsequently appealed to first the FA and then the Court of Abritration for Sport – which in December 2005 upheld a decision Mutu had been in breach of his contract “without reasonable cause”.

After Chelsea were successful in their own subsequent legal action to FIFA, Mutu was ordered in 2007 to pay more than 17m euros – nearly £15.3m at today’s exchange rate. The player once more appealed to CAS, but saw that case dismissed in July 2009.

Mutu, though, continued his legal fight by lodging an appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. He argued CAS had not been neither independent nor impartial because one of the panel members had been a partner in a law firm representing the interests of the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich.

In June 2010, the player’s case was dismissed by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which prompted Mutu to seek a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

However, the judgement released on Tuesday said there had been “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” in Mutu’s case.

The ECHR found the CAS arbitration proceedings were “required to offer all the safeguards of a fair hearing” and rejected “criticisms concerning the impartiality of certain arbitrators”.

Responding to the ruling, a statement from CAS read: “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 had joined Chelsea from Italian club Parma in August 2003 for around £15.8m.

Following the end of his doping ban, the striker went on to play for Juventus and Fiorentina as well as a short spell in the Indian Super League with Pune City.

Mutu, 39, retired from playing in 2016 and earlier this year spent a few months in charge of Romanian club Voluntari.

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