The Football Association will now release its findings into the circumstances surrounding Jose Baxter’s positive drugs test next week, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United midfielder was accompanied by manager Nigel Adkins when he visited Wembley yesterday as the governing body’s investigation drew to a close.
Baxter was temporarily suspended when traces of a prohibited substance, understood to be MDMA, were discovered in his system during a routine out-of-competition procedure last season. He subsequently missed both legs of United’s League One play-off semi-final against Swindon Town but resumed work at the Redtooth Academy following Adkins’ appointment.
A spokesperson for Bramall Lane said: “The club can confirm that Jose Baxter had his personal hearing on Friday morning in relation to traces of a banned substance being found in a sample following a routine Football Association out of competition drug test.
“The outcome of the hearing is expected by the middle of next week. Sheffield United will not be making any further comment at the present time.”
Although neither the FA or United are compelled to detail what, if any, sanction Baxter will face, it is thought at least one of the parties involved in the process will make a public announcement ahead of next weekend’s friendly at Ilkeston.
Baxter, previously of Everton and Oldham Athletic, maintains he is innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing. Nevertheless, speaking to United’s official website earlier this week, Adkins acknowledged he has reminded the 23-year-old of his responsibilities.
“The day after I joined I sat him down to understand what the situation was,” Adkins said. “His attitude has been spot on.”
“We’re there to support him,” Adkins added. “Discipline is so important to the club.
“We’re there to educate as well.”
Baxter, who was signed by Adkins’ predecessor David Weir, could be reprimanded or banned for a maximum of six months.