Mutu returned a positive result following a January 10 game against Bari [GALLO/GETTY]
Fiorentina and Romania striker Adrian Mutu has tested positive for the appetite suppressant drug sibutramine, according to a statement released by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Mutu, sacked by English Premier League club Chelsea in 2004 after using cocaine, gave a positive sample on January 10 at the Serie A game between Fiorentina and Bari.

The 31-year-old Mutu is already facing the prospect of having to pay $24 million in compensation after being fired by Chelsea for using cocaine.

Another doping offence could result in a ban of up to four years.

"In the first sample analysed, the presence of a metabolite of sibutramine has been revealed for Adrian Mutu," the statement said.

Under fire

CONI, which acts as Italy's anti-doping body, gave no further details but has a long track record of pursuing bans for sportspeople who fail tests - even if they took drugs by accident.

However, CONI did absolve Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro last year when documentation was not filed correctly by Juventus after he received emergency treatment for a wasp sting.

Mutu was told of the news while training with Fiorentina.

He was pulled aside by club medical director Paolo Manetti and team manager Roberto Ripa for a discussion, according to Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport.

After struggling for months, Mutu had just started to regain his form, scoring five goals this month - including one in the game against Bari.

The Swiss Federal Court are nearing a ruling on Mutu's appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which said he must pay Chelsea compensation.

CAS ruled in July that Fifa were right to award Chelsea compensation because Mutu breached his contract in 2004.

Chelsea fired Mutu for failing a drug test, then got nothing when he served a seven-month ban and rebuilt his career in Italy.

Mutu joined Juventus as a free agent and then was sold after one season for $11 million to Serie A rivals Fiorentina.

Fiorentina, who qualified for the Champions League group stages but have slipped to ninth in Serie A after a poor run of form, were not immediately available to comment.

Source: Agencies