Toure to learn fate on Thursday
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure is due to discover the extent of his ban for testing positive for a specified substance at a Football Association disciplinary hearing on Thursday.
Toure was suspended by the FA in February and is expected to face a lengthy suspension, which will date from the positive test three months ago. He was banned from taking part in any first-team or reserve matches from that point.
A three-man independent panel, which must include a former player, manager or match official, will hear the case of the defender who has turned 30 since being suspended from action.
The former Arsenal defender, who is the first footballer at a Premier League club to fail a drugs test since Chelsea's Adrian Mutu in 2004, faces a range of punishments from a warning to a ban, but it seems almost certain the latter will be applied.
At the time a club statement read: "Manchester City confirm that the FA has informed Kolo Toure that an 'A-sample' provided by him has tested positive for a specified substance. As a result of this, he has been suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches pending the outcome of the legal process."
A "specified substance" is, as the World Anti-Doping Agency defines it, one that is "more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation".
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he had spoken to his former captain and said that Toure failed the drugs test after taking a diet pill belonging to his wife. "He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems and he took the product of his wife," Wenger said.
Two years ago then-Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was banned for nine months for a similar offence, the same punishment would rule Toure out of football completely until November. He could be banned for as long as two years but that is highly unlikely for such an offence.
Toure's lawyers will claim he did not know the pill contained a banned substance, but such a defence is rarely considered acceptable.