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Touré back in training as City target Swansea

The FA ban preventing him from taking part in “football-related activities” may not yet have expired, but Kolo Toure has been given special dispensation to return to training with Manchester City.

MANCHESTER CITY DEFENDER Kolo Touré has been given the all-clear by the FA to rejoin his club in preparation for the expiry of his six-month ban for doping.

The defender had been banned from participating in all “football-related activities,” but as the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor reports, the decision of English football’s governing body to soften its stance is not without precedent. Former Ireland goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, was offered similar dispensation in the weeks prior to his return from a nine-month ban for ephedrine abuse.

Touré tested positive for the stimulant bendroflumethiazide after taking several of his wife’s diet pills. The FA inquiry into the incident later heard testimony from three separate healthcare professionals who diagnosed the Ivorian as having “become obsessed with his weight and more particularly the appearance of his belly”.

It had been anticipated that Touré would make his City debut at some point in October, but the FA’s reprieve raises the possibility of his participation in the club’s match with Wigan Athletic on the 10th of September.

In the meantime, however, attentions at Eastlands have turned to this evening’s match with newly-promoted Swansea, during which Roberto Mancini will match wits with the manager he once courted to assume the role of his assistant.

Indeed, according to Swans manager Brendan Rodgers:

“After leaving Reading I got a call asking if I’d be interested in going to City. I met Brian Marwood and went to Milan to meet Mancini for a few days… There I got a great insight into the club and their incredible project. But then the Swansea opportunity came up, David Platt joined City as Mancini’s assistant – and it all worked out perfectly for me.

“The money as a No2 at Man City would definitely be better but it wasn’t about money. I just had a gut feeling about Swansea.”

City’s £38m summer transfer, Sergio Aguero, is expected to make his debut during the match, though Mancini has suggested the Argentinian lacks the requisite fitness to start the game.

For more information read this story in the Guardian>

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