HATCHET MAN: Rio singing from new hymn sheet when it comes to drugs

Rio Ferdinand seems to have done a U-turn in his views about drug test rules after commendably backing new stricter controls for players.

The Manchester United and England defender thinks it is fair for players to have to let the authorities know their whereabouts for one hour each day to bring the game into line with other sports.

He even told young players: 'My advice would be that you have to deal with whatever rules are out there. You have to make sure you are there to be tested. If those are the rules, you have to abide by them.'

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Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has welcomed the prospect of stricter drug controls for players

Hopefully that means the new, improved Rio is less forgetful than when he missed a test at United's training ground and was later pictured out shopping in 2003.

At that time he didn't seem so relaxed about the less stringent testing rules which were in place then and brought an eight month ban in 2004 for the missed test .

Instead of 'abiding by them' and he now advises, when he was found guilty of misconduct he appealed against the suspension unsuccessfully and, even though FIFA wanted it doubled in length, he considered a second attempt to get it overturned before serving the time.

He said at the time: 'I think the ban was harsh and that I have been made an example of.'

Not just the authorities sticking to the rules then, Rio?

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