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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 00:37 GMT
No new appeal for Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand has ruled out making another appeal against his eight-month ban for failing to attend a drugs test.

The Manchester United star failed in a bid to have his suspension overturned by an independent panel on 18 March.

But he told The Sun: "I still think the ban was harsh and that I have been made an example of. But I have decided it is time this case came to an end.

"My first reaction was to keep going but I don't feel it would serve any purpose by dragging it out."

The point has been made I'm not a drug-taker
Rio Ferdinand
The England defender's European Championship dream was shattered after the three-man panel last week upheld the suspension initially handed down in December.

They were content the Manchester United star did not avoid the test for 'drug-related' reasons, but still dismissed his challenge to the verdict and punishment.

Ferdinand could have taken his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland but has instead chosen to accept his punishment.

"It has taken a couple of days to get over it and I felt a little let down by people," he added. "Usually, I'm always smiling, but this has left a bad taste.

"The point has been made I'm not a drug-taker. Everyone accepts that which is important to me.

"I feel I've cleared my name in that regard.

"The manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told me to stay focused and to come back stronger and better than I was before.

"I'm determined to do that. I have no doubt I will come out at the end of this as a better player and a better person.

"I'm going to keep going into training until the end of the season because I want to stay part of it.

"I've never been the sort of person who gives up. I've never quit on anything in my life and I have to be positive."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand
"To miss Euro 2004 is heart-breaking"





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