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By ESPN Staff

Ferdinand backing FA plans for drug testing

Rio Ferdinand has given his backing to the Football Association's plans for tougher drug testing in football.

The proposals, which would bring football into line with other sports, would require players to notify authorities of their whereabouts for one hour each day and would involved drug testing at their homes.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor voiced his opposition to the plans this week but Ferdinand, who served an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test in 2003, is supportive.

The Manchester United and England defender said: ''I think it sounds fair. If it brings us up to the level of all the other sportsmen, then I'm in favour. It's good.

''We get tested quite a lot anyway. A lot of players get tested three or four times a season so it would be no different to what we're used to.

''If the powers that be say moving to a new level and revealing where we are in advance is the right thing to do, then we'll get on with it.''

Ferdinand has said he had simply forgotten to take his test and gone shopping, and he urged young players not to make the same mistake.

''I'd say to them it's all part and parcel of the game,'' he added. ''Whatever rules there are out there you have to deal with it.

''You have to make sure you're there to be tested and you have to let people know where you're going to be. Simple as that.''

However, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed new drug testing procedures will cause Premier League clubs a major logistical headache.

''It is becoming a real nuisance,'' he said. ''You have to notify the FA where that player will be for one hour that day so if they want to test them or see them, they know the address.

''There are some occasions where you look at your team and think 'maybe I will give them this day off'. We then have to start notifying the FA that the players are not in training and give them addresses where they might be.

''That player might be sitting in the house and decide to go shopping. They might even forget.''

''What if Ronaldo or Nani want to go back to Portugal for a day,'' he questioned. ''It is very difficult. It goes without saying we want to keep drugs out of our game but this scheme will cost the FA a fortune and the implementation will be very difficult.''

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