Mutu: Damages decision profoundly unjust

ROME - Romania striker Adrian Mutu called the decision to uphold his order to pay Chelsea 17.17 million euros in damages "profoundly unjust" on Monday and confirmed he may take the case outside the sporting courts. Last week the Fiorentina player failed with his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the damages, awarded by FIFA in 2008, after he was fired by the English club five years ago because of a positive cocaine test. "I cannot fail to exercise my right to criticise a sentence that appears profoundly unjust," Mutu told the ANSA news agency. "I think I have amply paid for an error of youth which is light years away from the man and footballer I am now. "Today after so much time, that error cannot be the basis of a demand for damages that seem to go beyond the realm of sporting sanctions, given that Chelsea unilaterally decided to terminate my contract." Mutu, 30, said the matter may not be over even though sports' highest court had given its final verdict. "I am a sportsman but also, above all, a citizen of the European Union and I believe that sporting justice must respect the principles and fundamental rights of the community," he said. "So I will evaluate every possible initiative to protect my rights." Chelsea sacked Mutu in October 2004, a year after he joined them from Parma, but the player, who served a seven-month ban for the cocaine offence, has since rebuilt his career at Juventus and Fiorentina.