Romania striker and former Chelsea player Adrian Mutu has failed in his bid to overturn an order to pay Chelsea $24.2 million in damages after his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
|Mutu in his Chelsea days [GALLO/GETTY]
Mutu now plays for Fiorentina in Italy's Serie A.
He was fired by the English Premier League club five years ago following a positive test for cocaine and was instructed to pay the sum by Fifa last year but instead took his case to sport's highest tribunal.
"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today dismissed the appeal filed by the Romanian football player, Adrian Mutu, against the decision rendered by the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) on 7 May 2008 in which he was ordered to pay 17,173,990 euros in compensation... for breach of contract," CAS said in a statement on Friday.
Mutu last year described the decision as inhumane and said his offence did not justify such a huge sum.
The Romanian Players Union added that if an English player had committed the same offence, he would only have been fired but would not have had to pay any damages.
It was the third time the case had come before the Lausanne-based court.
In 2005, CAS confirmed a Premier League Appeals Committee decision which ruled that Mutu, by testing positive for cocaine, had breached his employment contract without just cause.
Two years ago, the Lausanne-based court set aside a decision by Fifa's DRC, which had said it did not have jurisdiction over the case, and referred the matter back.
Last year, the DRC issued its decision, leading to Mutu's appeal.
Chelsea terminated Mutu's contract in October 2004, one year after joining them from Parma, but the 30-year-old has since rebuilt his career at Juventus, after serving a seven-month ban for the cocaine offence, and Fiorentina.
Mutu, who previously played for Dinamo Bucharest, Inter Milan and Verona, played for Romania in last year's Euro 2008 championship, scoring their only goal of the tournament in a 1-1 draw against world champions Italy.