Hull suspend Livermore, test positive for cocaine

The Hull City midfielder was suspended by the club and the Football Association after testing positive for the illegal, class-A drug

By Greg Stobart at White Hart Lane

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has revealed that midfielder Jake Livermore is in a “dark place” following a positive test for cocaine.

The Football Association (FA) and Hull suspended the player, who joined the club from Tottenham in an £8 million (€11m) transfer last June, after the news became public knowledge following media reports on Friday.

Bruce informed Livermore of the positive test in a meeting on Wednesday and admitted he has found the situation difficult.

“I’m shocked, saddened, disappointed, angry. I can’t come to terms with it if I’m honest,” Bruce told reporters following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham, which leaves the Tigers facing relegation to the Championship with just one match remaining.

“The conversation I had with him is the hardest I’ve had with a player. He is obviously in a dark place.

“We are all let down, from everybody concerned with the club and football, but the biggest one he has let down is himself. It’s something that he’s got to live with for the rest of his career.

“It’s difficult because you have to go down all of the procedures, we have to go down lines with second samples.

“I believe he has to put in writing his actions and then the hearing will be whenever it sits.”

Players who test positive on match days for illegal ‘social’ drugs – as opposed to performance-enhancing drugs – can face up to a two-year ban under FA rules.

Hull confirmed in a statement on Friday that Livermore had been suspended by the club following his positive test for cocaine, while the FA also confirmed a player had failed a drugs test, although they did not name him.

“The club has suspended Jake Livermore pending further investigations to be made by the Football Association and our own internal disciplinary procedures,” a Hull statement read.