Boro chief backs Xavier

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Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren has thrown his weight behind defender Abel Xavier´s bid to clear his name after failing a drugs test.

The 32-year-old full-back will have his B-sample analysed next week after his A-sample tested positive for a banned, but as yet unnamed, substance following his side´s 0-0 UEFA Cup draw with Skoda Xanthi in Greece last month.

Xavier protested his innocence in a statement issued through his lawyers to PA Sport on Tuesday night, and McClaren revealed that he is firmly in the Portuguese international´s corner. He said: "I have spoken to him today (Wednesday) and he´s in fairly good spirits. He´s putting a case together with his lawyer and the results will be hopefully early next week. Next week, we will have the results and something more positive."

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