posted on Jan, 17 2004 @ 10:55 AM
Rio Ferdinand announced on Friday he will begin
his eight-month suspension for failing to take a drugs test yet still appeal against it.In a strange twist, the Manchester United star announced that
he would appeal against both the finding and the length of the ban, which was imposed by a Football Association disciplinary committee because he
failed to appear for a random drugs test.
A notice of appeal will be lodged with the FA on Monday, after which it will set up another three-man panel, chaired by a legally qualified non-FA
representative to determine Ferdinand's fate.
It could now be the end of February or even the beginning of March before his appeal is heard. And it remains unclear whether he will even be allowed
to start his suspension given the ongoing nature of the case.
If he is unsuccessful, the England defender is sure to miss the rest of the domestic season and Euro 2004.
Indeed, as things stand, he would be out of the game until 20 September.
But with England due to begin their Euro 2004 campaign against France in Lisbon on 13 June, Ferdinand knows he would be clear to play if his
suspension is halved.