The reason as to why ex-Cardiff City player Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was sacked has finally been revealed after his move to Middlesbrough.
The 28 year old has served a ban and now says he wants to “leave the past behind” after serving a suspension for cocaine use.
The Football Association (FA) has revealed the 28-year-old served a three-month ban after a positive drugs test administered on 4 July, 2020.
Cardiff let go of Mendez-Laing back in September 2020 for what the Championship club termed an “alleged breach of contract”.
The Football Association have said that admitted taking cocaine “in a context unrelated to sporting performance.”
Mendez-Laing was originally charged and provisionally suspended for breaching anti-doping regulations on the 14th of August 2020 and could have faced a longer ban.
However, an independent regulatory committee decided a three-month ban was in line with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, which permits reduced sanctions for “substances of abuse” designed to focus on drugs that WADA says are “frequently abused in society outside the context of sport”.
After serving his ban, Mendez-Laing then found a new club in Middlesbrough and reunited with his former Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, who was willing to give him a second chance at turning his life around.
He could be in line for his Boro debut in Saturday’s Championship game at Derby County, that’s if it can survive the weather.
“With the help of my family, close friends, my agent, and the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) during this extremely difficult time, I have been able to overcome my personal hurdles, to focus, and invest my time in working hard, determined to return to football,” Mendez-Laing told the BBC in a statement.
“I appreciate all the support I have been given throughout. I now want to leave that period of my life in the past where it belongs.
“I’m excited about the future and delighted to be back doing what I love.”
The former Wolves, Peterborough and Rochdale winger was part of the Cardiff side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2018 and will be hoping to do the same for Warnock’s side this season.
Mendez-Laing made a total of 92 appearances for the Bluebirds, scoring 14 goals in the process.
“I think we all make mistakes. I do know the boy obviously, I signed him from Rochdale, I have had him three years through ups and downs and everything. Sometimes you get in a situation like Mendez has got in,” Warnock told BBC Radio Tees last week.
“There were one or two other clubs after him and as I said to his man (agent) and himself, I think you are better off coming with me in the circumstances now because… he has got to get his career back on line really.”
Fans reacted as the reason to why the ex-Cardiff player was sacked had finally been revealed…
🤦🏻♂️ Mendez-Laing when he scores against us in two weeks… pic.twitter.com/FdnL7ipAw2
— Elliott Cantor (@ElliottCantor) February 12, 2021
@thebenprice: Mendez-Laing having a party, bring your vodka, he’s got Charlie!
@ScottMi09755490: What he’s done in the past is snort important
@DailyBoro: We all make a mistake at some point in our life we just have to learn from it and keep moving forward
@kieranjcrossman: Fit in well round here
@BarryCellnet: Right, that’s that. Needed to come out but it’s a fresh start now. Looking forward to seeing him play
@Nick95862491: Only losers in all this was us.. he was worth good money..
@GarethPearce10: Firm believer in players making mistakes should be given 2nd chances and don’t condone use of drugs but how is the player allowed to have his contract terminated and then sign for another club at the same level/competition and Cardiff claim no damages or compensation?
@Taffia42: About as expected then given he suddenly became available at the end of the transfer window!
@gazthebluebird1: @CardiffCityFC should seek damages from him, they have lost an asset worth over £3m through no fault of their own!
@bonz1990: Why didn’t we just keep him on the books until his ban was served
@BR151298: Get him back ASAP
@HansonBenj: Hopefully he can reach new highs at the Boro
@Boston1960Lee: Not to be sniffed at.
@quarantiern: genuinely can’t say I am bothered, he definitely deserves another chance and its not something I would hold against footballers or anyone else
@BoroBreaking: Same thing would happen in a normal workplace, he’s served his ban now and should he allowed to carry on without discrimination
@sihide1: Fit right in at the boro
@c_moore2012: Get right back on it if we go up
@cr1962stockton: Now I know why he’s been described as a speedy winger
@C4M_P4SSION: Nice for us to finally know what happened – thought it was going to along those lines
@wanaldinho: everyone deserves a clean slate mistakes happen it’s about what you do next that matters
@JamieKemble: He paid his debt with the suspension and losing his club. Well done to him for getting back on the horse and going again. Second chances are important.