Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier has protested his innocence over his failed drugs test and promised he never ´intentionally doped´ himself.

The 32-year-old Portuguese international has released a statement to PA Sport confirming his ´A´ sample had tested positive following his side´s 0-0 UEFA Cup draw with Skoda Xanthi in Greece on September 29. Xavier´s ´B´ sample will be tested next week and the player has agreed to undergo a series of further tests in a bid to clear his name.

The statement from Xavier read: "As agreed with my employer, Middlesbrough FC informed the press that in the anti-doping control I had to undergo after the above-mentioned UEFA Cup match, I tested positive. I hereby confirm this fact."

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