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Positive drug test for Granada winger Benitez

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Madrid, March 29 (IANS) Granada footballer Dani Benitez is facing suspension for up to two years and could also be sacked by his club after he tested positive for cocaine.

Benitez gave the positive test after his side's 1-0 win over Real Betis Feb 16, a game in which he was sent off just 16 minutes after entering the field as a 60th minute substitute, reports Xinhua.

If the test is confirmed, he faces a two-year suspension, which could be lowered if he collaborates with authorities (as was the case with former Rumanian international Adrian Mutu), but even if authorities are lenient, it appears his club will not be tolerant of the behaviour of the 26 year year-old, who has just one year left on his current deal.

Benitez was suspended for three months after an incident in May 2012 which saw him throw a plastic bottle at referee Clos Gomez at the end of a game between Granada and Real Madrid.

"I have asked for the club lawyer to look for the maximum sanction for a player who does this sort of thing," commented Granada President Quique Pina Friday.

"I have not spoken to him and I have not called him, because I have heard the news I least wanted to hear. He is the person I have most helped in this life. Every time he has had a problem, he has told me, and his team-mates know I have always stood beside him."

"Now I am very disappointed," said Pina, who explained the circumstances of the positive test.

"You don't think that a player on your team could do something like this," concluded Pina.

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