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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 11:52 GMT
Ferdinand to bounce back
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand has admitted he shed tears over his eight-month ban for his missed drugs test.

But the Manchester United defender, speaking in an interview for the Real Story programme on BBC on Monday, said he would bounce back from the ordeal.

The ban means Ferdinand misses the remainder of the domestic season as well as Euro 2004.

"To miss a tournament like that, it doesn't come around every week... it is heartbreaking," said Ferdinand.

"I'm man enough to admit that... I did cry."

His ban will end on 20 September and he added: "I'm going to make sure that I try and put everything into this time off to put myself in a great position when I do come back to playing football again.

"I've had my ups and downs in my career, although obviously none as big as this, but I think my upbringing and the people I've got around me will make sure that I stay focused."

I've worked very hard throughout my career and to have been treated in that way was very disheartening
Rio Ferdinand hits out at the Football Association

The 25-year-old has ruled out making a further appeal after his initial appeal was rejected by an independent panel on 18 March.

That decision shattered his dream of playing for England in Portugal.

"I wouldn't have appealed if I didn't have the belief that it would be reduced and to hear that it was sustained was heartbreaking to be honest," he said.

"It covers the end of my club's season when they are trying to win honours and not to be part of that is disappointing.

"And obviously at the end of it as well there's the tournament in Portugal that I'm going to miss."

Ferdinand feels he has been harshly treated and cited the examples of former United defender Jaap Stam and Manchester City striker Christian Negouai in his defence.

Stam received a five-month ban after testing positive for nandrolone in his first season at Lazio, while Negouai was only fined 2,000 for missing a test.

"I find it hard to find where my case sits in between these two. If you are going to have a rule, then set it and stick to it," said Ferdinand.

"Don't make one rule for one person and then another for another person."

He is angry at the Football Association for its handling of the case and for leaking his name into the public arena.

"To have been treated in that way was very disheartening," he said.

"I go out there and play for the fans, my family and myself, and to have that taken away from me in such a way was disheartening and something that really did shock me.

"Why was my name leaked? Why was I put out there to be shot at?

"Why was my name out there in the public arena for people to make assumptions on why I missed a drugs test?"





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