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Blade Baxter free to play after drugs ban

Sheffield United midfielder Jose Baxter is free to resume his career after the Football Association handed him a five-month ban for failing a drugs test.

Credit: Press Association

The 23-year-old was suspended by the Blades in May when "traces of a banned substance" were found after Baxter underwent FA testing.

He requested a personal hearing, which was held at Wembley last Friday, and the FA has served him a five-month ban, three of which is suspended for two years, effective from when he failed his test.

Therefore, that two-month live suspension has run its course over the close season and the former Everton midfielder will continue to train with the League One club and be available for their season-opener at Gillingham on August 8.

Baxter has maintained his innocence throughout and claimed his drink had been spiked when "traces of a banned substance" were discovered in his system during an out-of-competition test.

Baxter made 48 appearances for the Blades last season, scoring 13 goals, and looks set to be a key figure as new boss Adkins plots a promotion campaign at Bramall Lane.

Jose Baxter is eligible to start the 2015-16 Sky Bet League One season following the conclusion of his Football Association personal hearing.

The player maintains that he engaged in no wrongdoing involving any banned substance knowingly, but was found guilty.

The unexpired period of the ban has been suspended for the next two years, hence being available to Nigel Adkins during pre-season and when the league campaign kicks off in August.

– Sheffield United statement

Jose Baxter drugs hearing outcome expected 'middle of next week'

Sheffield United have said that the outcome of Jose Baxter's drugs hearing is expected by the middle of next week.

Credit: Press Association

The club confirmed that the player had his personal hearing at the Football Association on Friday morning.

The 23-year-old tested positive for a banned substance, believed to be ecstacy in May, but denies any deliberate wrongdoing.


Blade Baxter set for drugs hearing

Sheffield United player Jose Baxter will find out today whether he will be banned for the start of the new season after failing a drugs test.

Jose Baxter will travel to Wembley for an FA hearing Credit: Press Association

The 23-year-old tested positive for a banned substance, believed to be ecstacy in May, but denies any deliberate wrongdoing.

Howard: Blades ready and raring to go for promotion

Sheffield United goalkeeper Mark Howard says his team are "ready and raring" to go ahead of the upcoming League One season.

The Blades missed out on promotion last season after falling to Swindon in the play-offs but under new manager Nigel Adkins they will be hoping to go one better and return to the Championship.

Chris Dawkes spoke to Howard about the return to preseason:

Adkins to attend FA hearing with Jose Baxter

New Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins says he will attend an FA hearing over a failed drugs test by Blades midfielder Jose Baxter.

The club suspended the former Everton man after the discovery of "traces of a banned substance in his sample following a routine Football Association out of competition drug test".

Baxter denies any deliberate wrongdoing and will put his case to the FA on Friday.

Adkins told Chris Dawkes, "The players are role models, and we as a club have to give them every opportunity. People might make mistakes, or might not make mistakes, we have got to be there to support them and that's what I'm going to go and do."


Adkins: Blades must improve both defence and attack

Nigel Adkins says there is a refreshing honesty in his players' efforts during pre-season training which started this week.

The new Blades boss is beginning his first season at Bramall Lane and says he is working to assess the squad to see which areas can be improved.

He spoke to Chris Dawkes about his plans ahead of the League One season opener against Gillingham.

Extended interview with Blades boss Nigel Adkins

New Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has played down speculation of a move to bring back former player Billy Sharp.

Sharp has worked under Adkins at three different clubs during his career, most notably Scunthorpe, where he scored more than 50 goals in just two seasons.

However, the new Blades boss was holding his cards very close to his chest during an informal media briefing.

ITV Calendar's Chris Dawkes caught up with him:

Blades appoint Nigel Adkins on three-year contract

Credit: Press Association

Sheffield United have appointed Nigel Adkins as the club's new manager.

Former Scunthorpe, Southampton and Reading boss Adkins, 50, was unveiled as the Blades' eighth manager in as many years at a press conference at joint club owner Kevin McCabe's London office in Mayfair.

Adkins has signed a three-year contract and replaces Nigel Clough, who was sacked along with his six-man coaching staff nine days ago following the club's Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final defeat to Swindon.

Andy Crosby has been confirmed as assistant manager and Dean Wilkins as first-team coach.

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