We’ve all heard about Lance Armstrong’s confession by now. Yes, he did dope to win the Tour de France. It’s a big deal for him and his PR team is going to have to deal with hell for a while, but doping is no new issue, and it’s not a phenomenon that’s only present in U.S. athletes. In fact, if we look at a worldwide sport such as soccer, there have been dopers there too. Take, for instance, Adrian Mutu.
A few years back, Adrian Mutu was ordered to pay Chelsea £14.3 million in compensation after losing his final appeal in the Swiss Federal Court. Chelsea terminated the Romanian’s contract after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004 even though he still had almost four years to run in his contract. Mutu then moved to Italy and spent time with Juventus and Fiorentina, but then served a nine-month doping ban in Italy after testing positive twice for the banned stimulant sibutramine.
Chelsea claimed that Mutu was in breach of his contract. They were originally awarded damages by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and FIFA which ruled that Mutu must pay the damages himself, which included the unpaid transfer fee and other related damages. The original decisions were appealed against by Mutu to determine whether CAS followed the correct legal process and whether the compensation amount violated legal principles. After five years, the Swiss Federal Court upheld the decisions, ordering that Mutu pay Chelsea the full amount.
The CAS held that Mutu, as a result of his testing positive for cocaine and effectively breaching his contract, was liable for an unamortised portion of this transfer fee (and other related damages). The two interesting parts to this decision is that Chelsea had paid the transfer fee to Parma, effectively creating a contract between the two in which Mutu was not related, however Mutu was ordered to pay damages due to his breach of a subsequently created contract. Additionally, he was ordered to pay out his contract, with four years to remain.
Still with me? Well, if you’re wondering what to make from all that, it’s this – don’t dope!