Cardiff City took a decision to sack Nathaniel Mendez-Laing just three days before the current campaign was due to start.
It was something that then-Bluebirds coach Neil Harris opened up on at the time. He said that the player was sacked for “a serious breach of contract.”
Citing the need to consider legal issues, Harris could say no more and the matter was left ambiguous and up in the air. All that until today and confirmation from the FA.
FA article confirms what a lot were thinking
It was thought by some that Mendez-Laing had been sacked by Cardiff City for a ‘serious breach’ related to drugs. That proved to be the case.
The article from the FA states that Laing: “provided an in-competition urine sample to The FA via UK Anti-Doping officials on 04 July 2020 while playing for Cardiff City FC and it was found to contain metabolites of cocaine once subsequently analysed.”
It was this sample that saw Mendez-Laing suspended on 14 August 2020. That suspension led to the decision by Cardiff City to sever the deal that they held with him – effectively sacking him.
The fuller judgement, via this PDF linked into the FA’s website article, also indicates that Mendez-Laing had previously served a three-month suspension when: “On 9 December 2019, the Player previously provided an out of competition urine sample to UK Anti-Doping officials which disclosed the presence of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.”
Sacked by Cardiff – picking up the pieces at Middlesbrough
Obviously placed in such a position, Cardiff City really had no choice but to let their Birmingham-born winger go.
His time in Wales, after arriving from Rochdale, saw go on to score 14 goals and provide 11 assists in 92 games for the Bluebirds.
He was picked up from the free-agent pile by Middlesbrough after the closing of the winter transfer window. He’s yet to make his debut for Neil Marnock’s side but he was an unused sub for the 4-1 defeat by Brentford last weekend.
With his guilt now behind him, and with the punishment served, it is time for Nathaniel Mendez-Laing to pick up the pieces of his football career and get himself back on track.