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Can Arsenal, minus Emmanuel Abedayor, get their pre-season preparations on track in the Emirates Cup? They face Atletico Madrid in an intriguing encounter on Saturday.

Romania striker Adrian Mutu has failed in his bid to overturn an order to pay Chelsea €17.17 million after his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Now playing for Fiorentina in Italy, Mutu was sacked by the English club five years ago after he tested positive for cocaine.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today dismissed the appeal filed by the Romanian football player, Adrian Mutu, against the decision rendered by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) on 7 May 2008 in which he was ordered to pay 17,173,990 euros in compensation… for breach of contract,” CAS said in a statement on Friday.

Cristian Sarbu, one of Mutu’s lawyers, said he might now take the case outside the sporting courts.

“If you are not satisfied with a sports court decision then you resort to civil courts. I am confident the matter will continue with this angle,” Sarbu told private television station Realitatea TV in Romania.

Mutu last year described the decision as inhumane and said his offence did not justify such a huge sum.

It was the third time the case had come before the Lausanne-based court.

In 2005, CAS confirmed a Premier League Appeals Committee decision which ruled that Mutu, by testing positive for cocaine, had breached his employment contract.

Two years ago, the court set aside a decision by FIFA’s DRC, which had said it did not have jurisdiction over the case, and referred the matter back. Last year, the DRC issued its decision, leading to Mutu’s appeal.

Chelsea terminated Mutu’s contract in Oct. 2004, one year after joining them from Parma, but the 30-year-old has since rebuilt his career at Juventus, after serving a seven-month ban for the offence, and Fiorentina.

Can Arsenal, minus Emmanuel Abedayor, get their pre-season preparations on track in the Emirates Cup? They face Atletico Madrid in an intriguing encounter on Saturday.

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