Premier League

Sunderland fires top prospect

Stadium of Light, home of Premier League club Sunderland.
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LONDON (AP)

A Sunderland player who tested positive for cocaine and cannabis has been fired by the English Premier League club.

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Academy defender Lewis Gibbons failed the drugs test after a youth team match in September, although the two-year ban from football has only now been announced by the English Football Association.

A week after that match against Aston Villa, Gibbons captained Sunderland Under-18s against Manchester United.

Sunderland says "a club investigation also took place at the time and his scholarship with Sunderland was cancelled with immediate effect."

Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne added that the club supports a "rigorous testing program" and educates its young players about the "enormous dangers of drug use."

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