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Rio's drug test shock

SHAUN CUSTIS

Last Updated: 03 Aug 2007

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RIO Ferdinand was today sensationally axed from England's crunch game against Turkey in an amazing FA drugs probe.

The Man United star could now also be hit with a TWO-YEAR ban from football after failing to show up for a mandatory dope test.

Ferdinand, 24, told testers he forgot — but the game’s officials are said to view the incident extremely seriously.

Ferdinand failed to turn up for the test on September 23, two days after the controversial clash against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Sources close to the testing unit said he was told he had to attend after training but went home instead. He eventually took a test two days later and passed — but that did not satisfy the FA.

Ferdinand faces a hearing on the matter next Monday. But the FA's new chief executive Mark Palios ordered that Ferdinand was dropped for England's crunch Euro 2004 qualifier in Istanbul on Saturday.

And he could be hit with a two-year suspension from the game at officials' discretion. The FA's rule 3.5 states: "If a player fails or refuses to report to provide a sample he will be deemed to have committed a doping offence and may be subject to sanctions."

It is one of the biggest scandals to hit England since the 1970 World Cup, when skipper Bobby Moore was falsely accused of stealing a bracelet in Colombia.

The Football Association said in a statement this afternoon: "Given the seriousness with which the FA views breaches of its doping control regulations, the imminent England squad announcement and the importance of Saturday's match, the FA has concluded that

it is inappropriate for Rio Ferdinand to be available for selection for

England."

The Soaraway Sun

Ferdinand banned for eight months o.gif

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How the saga has unfolded

Rio Ferdinand has been banned for eight months and fined £50,000 by the Football Association after being found guilty of missing a drugs test.

An independent tribunal found the Manchester United defender guilty of misconduct after he failed to take a test on 23 September.

The ban, which provisionally starts from 12 January, would see him miss the rest of the season and Euro 2004.

Courtesy of the BBC

Edited by bonetti
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