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Anorak | Pills And Thrills

Pills And Thrills

by | 23rd, October 2003

‘ONE day on from Arsenal’s pain in the Ukraine and the papers are awash with how great English football is.

Rio hears his offer on a new house has been accepted

The Star leads with news of Chelsea’s Champions’ League win over Lazio, and the Express hails Claudio Ranieri’s “British Bulldogs”.

The paper hears Chelsea’s Italian manager praise the fighting spirit of the British players in his team, a spirit that enabled the Blues to overturn a one goal deficit to win 2-1.

Last time we looked, Adrian Mutu, scorer of the game’s winning goal, was from Romania – although Chelsea did employ four British players last night, which goes some way to backing up Ranieri’s claim.

And from British grit to the ‘Battle of Britain’, the headline adopted by all the papers every time two British teams play each other in European competition.

This time, the Mail reports, the spoils went to Manchester United, who defeated Glasgow Rangers 1-0, thanks to a goal from Phil Neville, that most unlikely of champions.

The player, who looks like Albert Steptoe’s less bright son, even prompts the Sun to launch the headline “Phil The Thrill, a tribute to “the most important goal” of Neville’s career.

At least the headline is not ‘Rio The Pill’. Today, as the Mail reminds us all, is the day when Rio Ferdinand will learn his fate for missing a dope test.

The paper links the England defender’s name with that of Dwain Chambers, the athlete who tested positive for the so-called designer steroid, THG, and who tells the Mirror that he’s innocent of all charges.

The Mirror says that ever since his naming Chambers has been “crying his eyes out”. If found guilty of cheating, he faces a lifetime Olympic ban and a two-year suspension from athletics.

With so many endorsements and cash in athletics, it’s no wonder Europe’s fastest man is feeling down.

But others might soon be sharing his tissues, as the paper explains how up to 20 American athletes – including past Olympic champions and world record holders – are said to have tested positive for banned anabolic steroids.

And now the International Association of Athletics Federations has decided to retest all 400 samples taken from athletes at August’s World championships.

And if many cheats are sprung it could be brighter news for British athletics. With the top seven runners in each final race sacked, the spoils might go to an unlikely source.

We might just win some medals, after all…’



Posted: 23rd, October 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink