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Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier has failed in his appeal against an 18-month suspension for a failing a drugs test.

A Uefa statement said: “Middlesbrough FC defender Abel Xavier has failed in his appeal against an 18-month suspension for a breach of anti-doping regulations.”

The ban followed the positive test Xavier gave following the UEFA Cup match against Skoda Xanthi FC in Greece on 29 September.

The Portuguese defender contested the ban but UEFA’s Appeals Body has rejected his appeal.

Xavier, 33, who also played for Benfica, Galatasaray, Real Oviedo, PSV Eindhoven, Everton and Liverpool, can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within ten days of being notified in writing of today’s decision.

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