Rio Ferdinand became embroiled in a Twitter row yesterday with a leading sports journalist over the player's eight-month ban in 2004 for missing a drugs test the previous year.
The Daily Mirror chief sports writer Oliver Holt revealed that he had been the subject of a tirade from Ferdinand on the direct message function of Twitter. Holt wrote that Ferdinand had called him a "fat prick" for arguing that the Manchester United player had not recognised that a missed test should be regarded as a failed test.
The row continued when Ferdinand approached Holt at Wembley after England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland on Saturday. In his column in today's Daily Mirror, in which Holt described the incident, he wrote that he told Ferdinand that missing the drugs test meant that a cloud of suspicion would always hang over him.
Holt writes: "For what it's worth, my instinct tells me that Ferdinand probably didn't have anything to hide when he missed his test eight years ago. But I'll never know for sure if I'm right. I told him that, too. 'You're a cock,' he said. Then security stepped between us."