The FA has today confirmed to England head coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, that Rio
The FA has today confirmed to England head coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, that Rio Ferdinand will not be available for selection in England's squad to face Turkey in next Saturday's European Championship Group 7 qualifying match in Istanbul...
Rio Ferdinand was one of four Manchester United players selected at random to provide a sample for a routine test by UK Sport Doping Control Officers on Tuesday 23 September 2003. The evidence currently in The FA's possession suggests that Rio Ferdinand failed to supply the required sample which was requested at Manchester United's training ground. The incident was reported by UK Sport to The FA's Medical Department.
Under The FA's Doping Control Regulations, "the failure or refusal by a player to submit to a drug test as required by a competent official" amounts to a breach of FA Rule E26 (see below) and this may lead to disciplinary sanctions for misconduct.
One of the key responsibilities of The FA is the management of its Doping Control Regulations and the disciplinary process which follows any reported incident.
Following UK Sport's report regarding Rio Ferdinand's failure to supply the required sample, the disciplinary process commenced. Rio Ferdinand was contacted by letter on Friday 3 October 2003 and will be interviewed next week.
However, The FA also has responsibility for the England team. Bearing in mind the imminent squad announcement for next Saturday's match, The FA held discussions with the player, Manchester United officials and the PFA relating to the selection issue that had to be considered.
In addition, following a suggestion from the PFA, The FA also offered to meet Rio Ferdinand yesterday and today.
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.
Today's announcement follows Manchester United's press release last night and discussions over the last three days between The FA, Rio Ferdinand, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Manchester United FC and The PFA.
The disciplinary process will now run its course. In making the policy decision not to consider Rio Ferdinand for selection for the England squad to face Turkey, The FA is not making any judgement whatsoever regarding the player's future England career. Just as importantly, The FA is not pre-judging the outcome of any possible future disciplinary hearing.
The FA will make no further comment on this matter at this time.