Palermo defender Moris Carrozzieri has tested positive for cocaine the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced today.
Traces of Benzoylecgonine - a product formed by the metabolism of cocaine - were found in tests carried out on the 28-year-old following Palermo's 1-0 victory over Torino on April 5.
CONI revealed the news in a brief statement on their website while Palermo also issued an official comment.
"The news that our player Moris Carrozzieri has tested positive for cocaine surprises and saddens us," a statement on the Sicilian club's website.
"Nevertheless trusting in the ability of the player to prove that he is in no way involved in similar conduct, we reaffirm our complete dedication in the fight against the use of any substance that damages the state of health of people and of youngsters in particular."
Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini has revealed that the club will seek to help rather than punish Carrozzieri.
"If this test result proves to be true we will obviously help Carrozzieri in fixing this problem," he said. "This obviously denotes that the lad has a psychological insecurity.
"If Moris denies everything we will try to do further tests to bring light to this matter.
"Certainly the financial damage for Palermo is serious but I am more upset for Moris than angry and I will try to help him recover.
"He goes to nightclubs too much, we have tried in every way to make him a leader but at the end of it all, Moris has betrayed himself more than us and Palermo."
Carrozzieri could face a lengthy ban, possibly up to two years, but Zamparini insists the club will not tear up his contract.
"No, we're thinking only of helping the lad come out of his dark place," Zamparini added.
Source: Sporting Life