The Football Association (FA) has charged Premier League club Manchester City with breaching its anti-doping procedures.

An FA statement read Manchester City has been charged in relation to the FA’s rules on anti-doping. The statement further reads that it is alleged the club failed to ensure that their ‘Club Whereabouts’ information was accurate. The charge is not under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency or UK Anti-Doping. It is a breach of FA rules only.

Manchester City faces a fine over the charge issued under FA Regulation 14d and is related to the “whereabouts” rule that dictates the Football Association must be told on a daily basis when the first team, Under-21s, and Under-18s squad are scheduled to be training. Anti-doping authorities must be given a timeframe of one hour if a player is not training, or leaves a session before he is scheduled to do so that same day when the club can say for sure where a player will be. The whereabouts regulations considered a key part of the integrity of the testing system. Clubs are obliged under the rules for updating any change to the schedule so that testers and players are in the right place.

It is believed that the charges concern training schedules not being updated in the context of players’ whereabouts at particular times, including members of City’s elite development squad. The charges concern a breach of Football Association rules only and are not under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency that has no provision for team violations in its code or UK Anti-Doping. The Premier League club is instead charged under FA rules only. Manchester City is rather facing a code of conduct charge that is likely to lead to a reprimand or fine.

UK Anti-Doping conducts tests on behalf of the FA on all players on professional contracts at clubs. There is a three strikes policy under the FA regulations where three violations of the whereabouts procedure trigger a FA charge. This can be incurred across all levels of professional players, and not limited to the senior squad.

Manchester City has fallen foul of the three strikes rules and now has time until Jan 19 to either accept the FA charge or contest it. It is likely that the club will be fined. If it decides to contest the charges and is found guilty, punishments could include a ban, ground closure, points’ deduction, and expulsion from competitions. The club is likely to say that the breaches are down to administrative errors.

The charge comes as City midfielder Samir Nasri is presently investigated over claims that he received an intravenous drip during a trip to Los Angeles last month. Nasri, on loan at Sevilla, is the subject of a probe by the anti-doping agency of Spain.

Intravenous therapy is banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules unless it is administered in quantities of no more than 50 milliliters per six-hour period or in cases where an athlete has obtained a certificate of dispensation on medical grounds.

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