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A right charlie

Filed: Wednesday, 19th July 2006
By: Matthew O'Greel

West Ham's Shaun Newton has been banned from professional football for seven months after testing positive for cocaine.

A routine drugs test following West Ham's FA Cup semi-final win over Middlesbrough showed that Newton - signed from Wolves for 10,000 in 2005 - had the drug in his system. A hearing today decided that the winger would be banned from the game until next March - almost certainly spelling the end of his career with the Hammers.

Newton came on as an 89th substitute for Matthew Etherington in the Villa Park semi-final, which the Hammers won courtesy of a second-half Marlon Harewood strike.

The player - whose nickname '10 grand' has already been somewhat cruelly amended to '10 grams' - was left at home as the rest of the first team squad flew to Sweden yesterday.

West Ham have announced that a statement will follow this afternoon, although Newton is understood to have already been suspended by the club pending the FA investigation.

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