MUCH-travelled striker Lee Thorpe, now playing for AFC Fylde, was among the footballers at the centre of drug allegations today.
Thorpe’s name featured on an expose on the Channel 4 Dispatches programme.
The programme listed 43 players whose names had been withheld after testing positive for using recreational drugs.
The drug-taking claims made against Thorpe, 35, refer to an alleged breach in 2008, before he linked up with Fleetwood Town and his current club AFC Fylde.
Among Thorpe’s previous clubs were Blackpool, Lincoln and Rochdale.
He was released by Fleetwood at the the end of last season, linking up with AFC Fylde. The programme accused the FA of hushing up the details of drug-taking and failing to reveal the identity of offenders.
THE FA today defended their anti-doping rules amid claims of secrecy.
“It is the FA’s policy to keep private the names of players who fail tests for social drugs out of competition, although punishments of up to six months for first-time offenders can be handed out.
“The FA want players to be allowed privacy to seek help for their problems, where required, and stress there is no requirement on them to identify those who have failed tests for recreational drugs away from game time.”
Players with Premier League experience, who are no longer active in the top flight, were named in the Dispatches programme as having tested positive for cocaine. The FA stress they are working to eliminate illegal substances of all types, and underlined that players who test positive for social drugs will be punished, even if their names were not disclosed.
n MICHAEL Carrick refuses to beat himself up over Manchester United’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona last May.
The Red Devils begin another quest to conquer club football’s number one competition tomorrow when they tackle legendary Portuguese outfit Benfica at the Stadium of Light. Their aim is clear: finding a way to match the Catalans, who completely outclassed United as they romped to victory at Wembley. It is a subject that has vexed many United fans throughout the summer.
But Carrick is not sure such introspection is of any great value. “The Champions League final doesn’t still hurt,” said the 30-year-old.
“It was disappointing because we lost the final but it wasn’t a massive failure. I haven’t watched it again. I went on holiday and focused on this season. You have to accept they were good. It is up to us to be better.”
n IN-FORM Wigan forward Victor Moses admits playing against Crystal Palace will feel “weird” tonight.
The pacy Nigeria-born 20-year-old was rated as rated as one of Palace’s top prospects before the London club were forced to sell him amid a financial crisis 20 months ago.
Wigan regarded their £2.5m capture of the youngster as a coup and his performances this season have underlined his potential. Moses said: “I was there for four years. It will be strange.”
n MANAGER Andre Villas-Boas says he will have one eye on Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League showdown at Manchester United when he picks his team for tonight’s Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen.