The Football Association has charged Chelsea with misconduct for carrying out “independent private drug testing” on some of their players.

The FA alleges that the Premiership champions breached Rule E25 by testing on 12 July 2004.

The rule says: “The independent private testing/screening of players by clubs, club officials or any other person subject to FA rules is prohibited.”

Chelsea have been given until 23 September to respond to the charge.

The FA does not allow independent testing s they are concerned that any positive results would be covered up by the club.

Chelsea have twice had high-profile players test positive for cocaine within the last three years resulting in the sacking of striker Adrian Mutu in October last year and goalkeeper Mark Bosnich in January 2003 after both tested positive for cocaine.