Former Sunderland player faces two year football ban

Lewis Gibbons previously had a scholarship with Sunderland AFC Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

Former Sunderland player Lewis Gibbons has been given a two year ban following an investigation by the FA into a failed drugs test.

The 18-year-old tested positive for cocaine and cannabis in October of last year.

A statement from the club's chief executive Margaret Byrne said:

"Empowering and educating our young people to make the right choices and decisions, both on and off the field, is fundamental to our Academy philosophy and ethos.

"We expect the highest standards of all players who have the honour of being part of Sunderland AFC, which is why this came as such a shock to us.

"It was enormously disappointing for everyone at the club who works so hard to support our young players and give them every opportunity to make it as professional footballers.

"We are strong advocates of the rigorous testing programme that our sport adheres to and we will continue to educate and advise all of our young players as to the enormous dangers of drug use."

Ged McNamee, Manager for Sunderland AFC’s Academy also said:

“Lewis not only let our club down, he let himself and his team-mates down massively.

We took the strongest possible action in terminating his contract as every footballer knows the severe consequences of this type of offence.

"We have, however, worked to ensure that support and assistance was available to the player and his family through what has undoubtedly been a difficult and challenging time for them.”