Hull midfielder Jake Livermore has been suspended by his club and the FA after reportedly failing a drugs test.
The 25-year-old tested positive for cocaine after playing in Hull’s win at Crystal Palace on April 25, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The struggling Premier League club confirmed they have suspended the player, although a Hull spokesman would not divulge the reason for the decision.
The Tigers issued a short statement which read: “The FA has suspended Hull midfielder Jake Livermore.
“Following suspension by the FA, the club has subsequently suspended Jake Livermore pending further investigations to be made by the FA and our own internal disciplinary procedures.
“The club is unable to make any further comment during this process.”
The player’s agent could not be reached for comment, and the FA has yet to explain its reasons for suspending Livermore.
Speaking before Livermore’s suspension, Hull manager Steve Bruce backed his players to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Burnley and give themselves a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League.
The Tigers travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham today in the knowledge that realistically only a win will be enough to extend their survival chances into the final week of the campaign.
But Bruce believes his side will be better prepared for the pressure they will face in north London having frozen against Sean Dyche’s Clarets, who went down despite last weekend’s victory at the KC Stadium.
“Sometimes you get caught up in the occasion and forget how to perform, but I think we we will be better prepared for it this week and we will be able to handle the occasion better,” Bruce said.
“It has happened to great players that they get caught up in the occasion and forget how to play the game. It happened to me in my first semi-final for Manchester United when I just froze. But our results against Crystal Palace and Liverpool have proved what we are capable of and we have got to perform to the best of our ability to give ourselves a chance, and hope there’s one last twist.”
Meanwhile, John Carver has admitted he wishes Newcastle’s debacle at Leicester had come a few weeks earlier.
The 50-year-old looked on in horror at the King Power Stadium on May 2 as his side imploded, losing 3-0 to a club which had seemed destined to be relegated just a few weeks earlier while having key defenders Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat sent off.
Carver, who later suggested Williamson might have deliberately earned his red card, was called into talks with managing director Lee Charnley while the players held their own clear-the-air meeting. The end result was a much-improved performance and a first point since February against West Brom last week.
While he remains confident the Magpies can secure the return they require from today’s trip to relegated QPR and the final day clash with West Ham at St James’ Park, Carver is hoping they did not reach their nadir too late.
He said: “I wish Leicester had happened a bit earlier. The Leicester game brought it to a head.”
The Foxes will survive at Sunderland today and complete a remarkable survival mission if Hull fail to match their result at Tottenham.
Nigel Pearson wants to seal survival without any late slip-ups. “It’s the worst pressure ever when you need to win games and also hoping things go your way elsewhere,” he said. “That is not nice. We will be doing everything we can to make sure it’s the right result for ourselves.”
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