Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand reveals he grew famous cornrows to ‘prove his innocence’ after 8-month drug test ban

    MANCHESTER UNITED legend Rio Ferdinand admitted he grew his famous cornrows to prove his innocence after being slapped with a ban for missing a drugs test.

    It all started back in 2003 when Ferdinand left United‘s Carrington training ground at lunchtime, accidentally missing a scheduled drugs test.

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    Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand was slapped with a ban after missing a drugs testCredit: Getty

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    Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand grew cornrows to prove his innocenceCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

    And although the legendary centre-back later took the test and passed, the Football Association Disciplinary Committee still punished him with an eight-month ban and £50,000 fine.

    The Red Devils’ appeal was unsuccessful and so the former England international missed the remainder of the season as well as Euro 2004 and the start of the 2004-2005 campaign.

    During his time in the sidelines, the now 43-year-old, who then had very short hair, decided to adopt a cornrow hairstyle thinking that would help end his ban with a hair follicle test.

    However, the FA refused to let him take the test and so the ex-Leeds and West Ham star served the entire ban.

    The legendary defender insists he still hasn’t forgiven them for the treatment he received.

    Ferdinand told Stripped with Specs & Vuj YouTube channel: “The reason I got cornrows was the drugs test.

    “I got banned for missing the drugs tests and to prove my innocence that I hadn’t taken any form of substance, I had to let my hair get to two inches so that I could take a hair follicle test that goes back a year or 18 months.

    “A guy comes to the training ground to do the drugs test and I forgot that he was there and went out for lunch.

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    “I looked at my messages and realised I’d missed it. I said I was coming back but they’d already left and it all kicked off from there really.”

    Ferdinand added: “I’ll never forgive them for the way I was treated. People had done worse and very similar to what I’d done and didn’t get treated like that.

    “I might end up doing an exclusive show on it one day because I think there’s a lot of football fans out there that think there’s no smoke without fire.”

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