Jaap Stam wrote in his autobiography that he had taken the same vitamin pills as Dutch team mates Edgar Davids and Frank de Boer, who had also tested positive for Nandrolone. In his recent controversial autobiography 'Head to Head', the former Manchester United player said he had been given the "thumbs-up" to take them. Stam said that he believed the pills, administered by the Dutch team doctor, contained nothing illegal. The Lazio defender was suspended with immediate effect by the Italian Olympic Committee today following a positive test for the banned substance.

The excerpt from the book reads: "Edgar Davids, along with Frank de Boer, has been dragged into a messy drugs controversy after testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone, a performance-enhancer.

"I refuse to believe either player knowingly took nandrolone. At the time it was thought the substance was contained in some vitamin pills handed out by the Dutch team doctor.

"I am not convinced by this theory as I was given the same pills and even checked with the Manchester United doctor and was given the thumbs up to take them.

"I can only think it was something in a meal they ate or a drink they had, as having known Davids and De Boer for more than five years, I would willingly stand up in a court room and plead their innocence."

Davids and De Boer both denied deliberately taking nandrolone.

Filed by Greg McKevitt