On This Day – 3rd March

It was announced on this day in 1995 that Crystal Palace striker Chris Armstrong became the first Premier League player to fails a drugs test.

Armstrong tested positive for cannabis when he took a test on 23rd January 1995. He had surprisingly been dropped from the Palace team for their FA Cup Fifth Round tie two days earlier and no reason was given at the time. When the announcement came, it soon made sense why the striker had been omitted from the matchday squad!

The Football Association decided that the best punishment would be to suspend Armstrong, send him on a rehabilitation programme and take counselling.
He returned to the pitch just eleven days later, scoring Palace’s opening goal in a 2-1 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Crystal Palace ended the season in 19th place and were relegated from the Premier League. Chris Armstrong left the club in the summer to join fellow London side Tottenham Hotspur for £4.5 million.

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