Former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu has had his appeal over having to pay £15.3 million in damages to the club turned down by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
After joining in August 2003, Mutu was sacked by Chelsea in October 2004 for breach of contract, after testing positive for cocaine and was given a seven-month ban from football.
Chelsea sought compensation from Mutu to recover a large amount of the fee they paid to sign him, with Fifa setting damages at 17.1m euros (£15.2m) in 2008, a figure that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Swiss Federal Supreme court supported.
Mutu continued to fight against the ruling and his appeal was addressed in the ECHR this week, where it was rejected on the grounds that there had been no violation of Mutu’s rights to a fair trial.
The former footballer alleged CAS had not been independent or impartial in its ruling because one of the arbitrators on its panel had been a partner in a law firm that represented the interests of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
He also objected to the same arbitrator sitting on the 2009 CAS panel and a previous panel in 2005, which upheld the Premier League ruling that he had breached his contract at Chelsea.
The ECHR said that despite the rulings holding the same facts, the legal issues to be decided were very different as the first was over whether Mutu had breached his contract and the second related to the amount of damages owed.
After the hearing, Chelsea confirmed they were still pursuing the player for the damages. A club spokesman said: “We are exercising our legal remedies to recover the amounts owed to us and we will continue to do so.”
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