City accept charge for breaking anti-doping regulations
Manchester City have pleaded guilty to breaching the Football Association's anti-doping rules. The club were charged earlier this month following an alleged third violation of 'club whereabouts' rules in the space of 12 months.
Clubs are required to keep the FA informed of the location of their players in order to facilitate drug-testing.
City had until 4pm yesterday to respond to the charge. They will now face a hearing in front of an independent regulatory commission. This could take place within the next fortnight and a fine is thought to be the most likely outcome.
City's obligations under club whereabouts rules would include providing the times of training sessions, home addresses of players or other addresses where the team may stay overnight.
The rules state a breach occurs "if the information contained in such reports is either initially inaccurate or has not been updated by the club as necessary to ensure it remains accurate".
A "three-strike" policy is operated, meaning that a charge is only triggered after three infringements in the space of a rolling one-year period.
No details of the three incidents have been given but it is understood the charge was one of misconduct relating to the club in general rather than any particular individuals.
Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany could return to the City line-up at Crystal Palace today.
City's injury-plagued captain is back in contention after overcoming a knee injury sustained against the same opposition at Selhurst Park in November.
The 30-year-old was an unused substitute for last week's draw against Tottenham and could now feature as City return to Palace in the FA Cup fourth round.
Manager Pep Guardiola said: "We will see, but he is fit, he is ready. The last game he was on the bench. That means he is fit. If not, he would not have been there."
Kompany has not played a full game since April and his most recent injury was his 35th since joining City in 2008.
His return could coincide with a first start for £27m Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus, who made his debut as a late substitute against Spurs.
Guardiola said: "He is fit, he is not injured. He is already three weeks with us so he is in shape. We are going to see."
Guardiola offered greater certainty on who would play in goal with Willy Caballero set to take the place of Claudio Bravo, as he did in the third-round win at West Ham.
"Yes, Willy is going to play," Guardiola said.
Guardiola expects a difficult afternoon at Palace despite the London side's poor recent form. The Eagles have won just once in their last 10 games in all competitions but Guardiola points out City found them tough to break down in their last encounter.
He said: "It was a real tough game. It was one of the worst games we played this season but we won and when that happens everything is perfect.
"But we didn't play good and I imagine a tough game in the FA Cup. Every game is complicated in that sense."