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Ferdinand Is Penalized for Missed Test

Ferdinand Is Penalized for Missed Test

October 30, 2003|Jim Barrero | Times Staff Writer

England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand escaped a ban of up to two years when the Football Assn. handed him a lesser charge of misconduct for missing a mandatory drug test in September.

Ferdinand, 24, still faces a suspension and fine, but things could have been a lot worse for the world's most expensive defender had he been charged with "willfully" avoiding the test.

"From Rio's point of view, the charges are good news, keeping things in proportion," said Gordon Taylor, head of England's players' union. "It is certainly a lesser charge so a lesser charge should carry a lesser penalty."

Ferdinand has 14 days to appeal. United officials said Ferdinand plans to ask for a personal hearing.

FIFA, world soccer's governing body, said it will await the FA's ruling on any punishment for Ferdinand before deciding whether it will impose any penalties of its own.

Pardo Injury

Leo Beenhaaker, coach of Club America, was a bit perturbed after learning that midfielder Pavel Pardo had aggravated a left ankle injury earlier this week during training for Wednesday night's Bimbo Stars exhibition game at the Coliseum.

"I'm very angered but I don't want to talk about it," Beenhaaker said.

Pardo, a Mexican international, apparently had felt some pain over the weekend during a 2-1 victory against Tigres -- a game in which he scored both goals -- but traveled to Los Angeles anyway.

FIFA Won't Retest

Citing legal reasons, FIFA said it won't retest urine samples for the steroid tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has encouraged world governing bodies to retest samples. The IAAF, the governing body for track and field, has decided to retest. FINA, world swimming's body, and the International Olympic Committee are considering the request.

"In the [FIFA] regulations nothing is foreseen that you can do retroactive testing," FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said.

European Roundup

Samuel Eto'o and Arnold Bruggink scored goals in the 75th and 87th minutes as bottom-of-the-table Mallorca stunned Spanish league leader Deportivo La Coruna, 2-0, Wednesday for its first victory in eight games.... Emile Heskey scored two second-half goals to lead Liverpool to a 4-3 victory over Blackburn and a spot in the final 16 for England's League Cup.... Borussia Dortmund lost to Moenchengladbach, 2-1, and Schalke lost to SC Freiburg, 7-3, in upsets in the third round of the German Cup.

Panama Advances

Luis Tejada, Jose Garces and Blas Perez each scored two goals to lead host Panama to a 7-0 victory over St. Lucia to advance to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2004 Olympics.

Panama, which won the two-leg series, 13-1, on aggregate, became the first team, besides host Mexico, to advance to a final group of eight. Teams will compete for one of two Olympic berths during a tournament on Feb. 2-12.

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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