Anorak News | Dope Test

Dope Test

by | 18th, December 2003

‘AFTER waiting and waiting and waiting, today is the day when Rio Ferdinand will kneel before the FA beaks and plead for leniency.

Rio was gutted at having to give the Harvey Nicks sale a miss

That is, of course, if the player finds his way to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, manages to open the door when he arrives, copes with the challenge of walking and remembers to face his inquisitors and not stand on his head with a banana in his ear.

You see, Rio is just a “dope”. The Express (“I’m Just A Dope”) has seen the main plank of the player’s defence.

The message is that he didn’t deliberately dodge a routine drugs test but just forgot to take it.

Silly Rio.

But also in his padded corner is Gordon Taylor, head of the players’ union, who tells the Express that, although he doesn’t want to pre-judge the hearing, he believes the judgement is a forgone conclusion.

“I believe they [the FA] will make Rio a scapegoat,” says the voice of reason.

A scapegoat for what exactly? For his own failings? For not doing something other footballers do? For the Brinks-Matt bullion heist? For a sport that fails to slam down hard on even the merest whiff of cheating?

One thing for sure is that the entire episode stinks. It’s taken since September for the matter to get this far, in which time the player has played on and we’ve been repeatedly told what a nice chap he is.

It is time for a result. But for one of those, we’ll have to turn to the Mail, where Chelsea have just been knocked out of the Carling Cup by Aston Villa.

And in the same silver chase, Spurs have lost to Middlesbrough on penalties and with defeat missed the chance to play Arsenal in the semi-final.

This last game earns the headlines in the Mirror: “Spurs Misery Is Com-pleat.” That’s a pun on the Tottenham coach, David Pleat, and a premature assessment of matters at the Lane.

The misery is never complete. After all, for most fans, clubs and players, misery and heartache is what the game’s all about…’

Posted: 18th, December 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink