Verroken set to be first casualty in doping fiasco

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The Independent Online

The repercussions of the Rio Ferdinand doping case look set to claim its first high-profile victim, with the resignation of Michele Verroken, the head of ethics and anti-doping at UK Sport.

Verroken, who oversaw the test missed by Manchester United's £30m defender, is expected to take the blame for Ferdinand's name being leaked to the media. The Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive, Gordon Taylor, has been so angered by the leak that he has threatened to pull his members out of all UK Sport tests.

Verroken was told at a meeting on Tuesday with Sue Campbell, the interim chair of UK Sport, that she has no future in her role with the agency that oversees drug testing in British sport. Verroken is currently on paid leave at home.

The news of Ferdinand's missed test at Manchester United's training ground on 23 September was reported directly to Verroken as part of her job at UK Sport.

Taylor blamed Verroken for Ferdinand's name being leaked and claimed it would prejudice any chances of a fair hearing with the Football Association. But Taylor himself, Ferdinand's agent Pini Zahavi, and sources at Manchester United all confirmed Ferdinand as the player who had broken drug regulations.

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