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Micah Richards will be given special summer training programme to minimise injury risk

EXCLUSIVE: Man City star Richards will be forced to follow special summer training programme after injury-hit season


And City's medical team are devising a specially-designed training plan, aimed primarily at strengthening his injured knee, for Richards to follow during the close season to ensure his body is ready for the rigours of pre-season given he'll have spent virtually an entire season on the sidelines.

Blow: Richards was stretchered off during the game against Swansea

Blow: Richards was stretchered off during the game against Swansea

Richards had hoped to be back playing at the beginning of this month, but his return was delayed after complaining of tightness in his injured knee during the latter stages of his rehabilitation process.

News of Richards' pending return will be a major boost to City manager Roberto Mancini ahead of his side's run-in.

Jamie Roberts to quit Cardiff for Racing Metro

Welsh centre Roberts rejects Cardiff offer to join big-spending Racing Metro



08:29 GMT, 8 November 2012

Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts will quit Cardiff Blues at the end of the season and become the latest big name to quit the country for the riches of France.

Cardiff chief executive Richard Holland revealed the Blues had hoped to persuade Roberts to stay with a deal that would have made him one of the best-paid players in the UK but conceded they could not compete with offers from other clubs.

The 25-year-old Roberts will join big-spending French side Racing Metro.

On the move: Jamie Roberts is swapping Cardiff for France

On the move: Jamie Roberts is swapping Cardiff for France

Holland said: 'The offer that we made to Jamie was an extremely attractive one and would have seen him become certainly the highest paid player in the Blues squad, and arguably in the UK.

'As a business we simply don’t have the resource to compete with the offers that Jamie has received.

'Naturally we are disappointed that Jamie has decided to leave the region but we wish him the best of luck with his career.

'Given news of Jamie’s departure, we will begin the search to find a
suitable marquee player who will be eligible to play for us throughout the
entire season.'

Chairman Peter Thomas has called on the WRU to intervene to stop other Welsh players being lured abroad.

'We have invested a lot of time,
money and effort developing Jamie as a rugby player from an early age
and after identifying him as a star of the future,' said Thomas.

Key man: Cardiff Blues were unable to keep hold of Roberts

Key man: Cardiff Blues were unable to keep hold of Roberts

'We have stuck by him through thick
and thin and supported him during last season when he only completed two
matches for the Blues because of his knee injury and international
duties, playing 15 matches for Wales.

'It is impossible for the Welsh regions to compete with the kind of money that is on offer from other clubs in other countries.

'The time has come that the Welsh benefactors should not be responsible for funding the professional game .

'The chairman of the regions can
guide companies, but if we want to keep Jamie Roberts and other
international players in Wales then the governing body has to

'The player drain out of Wales, which
has a negative impact on the Welsh regions and the national team , will
only continue without increased funding from the governing body.

'As an example, with our recent game
against Leinster, the IRFU pay for 14 of their players and additionally
fund the province for the remaining players in excess of €4 million.

Money, money, money: French clubs are able to attract the best talent

Money, money, money: French clubs are able to attract the best talent

'Compared to the cost of the Cardiff Blues squad, that’s almost double.

'You’ll never win the Heineken Cup with that margin to compete with.

'The governing body has to take far more responsibility.'

Roberts, who is a product of the Blues Academy, made his senior debut for the region as a winger against the Ospreys in August 2007 and has gone on to make 81 appearances and score 17 tries.

He made his Wales bow, also on the wing, against Scotland at the start of the 2008 Grand Slam season and has since won 44 caps for his country.

The Newport-born back, who is a medical student at Cardiff University and will sit his final exams during next year's RBS 6 Nations tournament, was named as the Lions' Player of the Series on their 2009 tour of South Africa.

Roberts returned to action in September after being sidelined for six months with a knee injury.

Huddersfield 2 Blackburn 2 – match report

Huddersfield 2 Blackburn 2: Town fight back to deny old-boy Rhodes on return



23:59 GMT, 6 November 2012

Rival bosses Simon Grayson and Henning Berg were both left feeling aggrieved after a dramatic injury-time equaliser by Lee Novak salvaged a point for Huddersfield on Jordan Rhodes' return to the John Smiths Stadium.

A controversial second-half penalty for Blackburn, awarded by referee Roger East, proved the main bone of contention, with Huddersfield manager Grayson berating the Barclays Premier League official and opposite number Berg insisting he had got it right.

Denied: Town secured a point with a last-minute equaliser

Denied: Town secured a point with a last-minute equaliser

Match facts

Huddersfield: Smithies, Woods, Peter Clarke, Lynch, Dixon, Scannell, Norwood (Lee 60), Southern, Clayton, Hammill (Ward 59), Novak.

Subs not used: Bennett, Gerrard, Wallace, Arfield, Robinson.

Booked: Novak, Lynch, Clayton.

Goals: Novak 15, 90.

Blackburn: Robinson, Henley, Grant Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Formica (Rosado 82), Murphy, Etuhu, Markus Olsson, Rhodes, Rochina (Vukcevic 78).

Subs Not Used: Kean, Orr, Pedersen, Raheem Hanley, Ribeiro.

Booked: Dann.

Goals: Rhodes 43,Murphy 55 pen.

Attendance: 14,597

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire).

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Danny Murphy converted it to put
Blackburn ahead, after Rhodes cancelled out Novak's opener with a
typically-clinical finish in the 43rd-minute, but Grayson at least had
the consolation of a point-saver in the fourth and final minute of added

‘Decisions like that can change a
team’s entire season, and he got it entirely wrong,’ fumed Grayson.
‘Everyone could see that, because it was so obvious Joel Lynch got a
touch to the ball to put it out for a corner.

‘I actually like this referee, but he
had a major decision to make, and he didn’t get it right. In fact, he
was poor all round tonight with all the big decisions that needed

Berg was just as adamant Markus
Olsson had been fouled and was unhappy over the last-second leveller,
after pointedly tapping his watch at East as the ball was hoisted into
the Blackburn area.

‘I hope no-one is trying to make out the penalty should not have been given,’ said the recently-appointed Blackburn manager.

Familiar face: Rhodes returned to Huddersfield

Familiar face: Rhodes returned to Huddersfield

‘I know there were a few complaints
at the time, and it is difficult to be sure from the dug-out. But I have
seen a video of the incident, and there is no doubt Markus got to the
ball first and had his heels clipped by the Huddersfield defender. It
was a stonewall penalty.

'To be fair to the referee, it turns
out their late equaliser came with exactly three seconds left. He could
have blown, and equally the linesman could have flagged for offside
against Novak.

'If the ball had flicked off one of
Blackburn’s players, he would have been five yards offside. As it
happens, it brushed the head of Dickson Etuhu, so the linesman was

'But you needed to study the video to
see that, so you tell me how the linesman could have been so sure. I
can’t complain, because it was a correct decision, but nine times out of
10 in that situation, the flag would have gone up.

'All that shouldn’t have mattered,
though. We did more than enough to have won, and we would have done if
we had just kept the ball better for those last few seconds.'

Newey at the epicentre of Red Bull"s timely title revival, says rejuvenated Webber

Designer Newey at the epicentre of Red Bull's timely title revival, says Webber



18:39 GMT, 30 October 2012

Mark Webber has hailed Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey as 'a beacon' who shines over the entire team.

Much of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel's recent resurgence in this year's Formula One world championship is being credited to Newey.

The 53-year-old is the only designer to have helped three different teams – Williams, McLaren and Red Bull – win constructors' championships.

Red Bull head into this Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the brink of claiming their third successive title, while four consecutive wins have propelled Vettel into a 13-point lead in the drivers' race.

Renissance man: Adrian Newey (bottom right) has been credited with Red Bull's recent resurgence

Renissance man: Adrian Newey (bottom right) has been credited with Red Bull's recent resurgence

With the regulations stable for next season, how Red Bull are ending this campaign is ominous for the other teams ahead of 2013.

For Webber, he readily concedes the Newey factor is one of the reasons why he spurned overtures from Ferrari to stay on another year with Red Bull.

Asked whether Newey was still motivated, Webber said: 'Definitely, yeah. When I go to the factory it's always a good sign when I see his car there. I'm happy.

'He is always coming up with ideas. Whenever Adrian is around it just brings everyone up – the engineering guys, the mechanics. He is such a beacon for our team.

'For us, when it is a bit smelly, he just sticks to his guns, and when it's going well, you never notice it.

'When we finished first and second in Korea the debrief was no different, and that's just such a quality of Adrian, and that's why it's great to have him. He was a big factor in me staying.'

Top man: Mark Webber and Newey celebrate in Japan in 2010

Top man: Mark Webber and Newey celebrate in Japan in 2010

Fernando Alonso certainly believes Newey is the difference and why a 44-point lead over Vettel six races ago is now a 13-point deficit.

'When we had a similar car to everyone I think we were leading the championship,' said Alonso.

'Now we are fighting against Newey's car, let's say, because they are first and second in all the races, it's not only Sebastian.'

Vettel, however, believes that comment to be unfair given the amount of people behind the scenes at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes.

'I don't think, in general, this is just a fight between us race drivers,' said Vettel, on the official F1 website.

'It is rather a competition amongst teams and all of their members. If you walk into the Red Bull Racing garage you will see that every single individual is committed 100 per cent to making the team more competitive, even if someone is not feeling entirely well. So I don't think this would be a fair statement towards any team member.'

Newey spent nine seasons with McLaren, from 1997 to 2005, before switching to Red Bull, playing a critical role in the team going from a start-up organisation to champions in just five years.

Old hand: Newey listens to Mika Hakkinen during his McLaren days

Old hand: Newey listens to Mika Hakkinen during his McLaren days

Despite Red Bull's domination, and after working alongside Newey for many years, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is adamant he and they are not fireproof.

'I've a feeling there are quite a few decent people at Red Bull, but Adrian is undoubtedly very talented,' said Whitmarsh.

'If you are going to have consistent performance then you need a lot of good people, great drivers, a committed team.

'Adrian is legendary in the sport and he does an extraordinarily good job, but he is beatable. All these people are beatable.

'That's what we set out to do. We don't always achieve it, but we will be trying hard to do that.'

Manchester United and Manchester City could have merged in the Sixties

Manchester City United Football study shows clubs could have merged in Sixties



14:09 GMT, 12 October 2012

A football historian has revealed Manchester City and Manchester United could have merged back in the Sixties.

In 1964 City chairman Frank Johnson proposed the idea of the two clubs coming together, at a time when both sides got along well off the field and his side were suffering some of their darkest days.

There was a strong sense of goodwill in Manchester, with City allowing their rivals to use Maine Road while Old Trafford was rebuilt after being damaged during World War Two.

Possibilities: How different could things have been

Possibilities: How different could things have been

However, despite United suffering with the Munich air disaster of 1958 they had rebuilt and were gunning for the league title, which meant joining forces with City was an unattractive option.

Gary James has written a new history of City and spoke about what might have been.

'The idea was killed by both clubs before it ever became public,' James explained.

'I spoke to Eric Alexander whose dad Albert was chairman at the time, and he said Frank Johnson, who came up with the idea, often came up with crazy ideas.

'Another of his plans was to make the entire league regionalised into north and south.

'But City [under then manager George Poyser] were at a real low in their history at the time. In terms of league position, it wasn’t as bad as 1998-99, but in terms of general morale, atmosphere and support it was by far the lowest point in the club’s history.

'In the late Nineties, we still had over 30,000 going to games, and that meant the club still had a high profile. In 1964-65 we were in the second division, support had dropped to a low of less than 15,000, and general interest in the club had also dropped.

How times change: Man City are doing much better now than they were back in 1964

How times change: Man City are doing much better now than they were back in 1964

'I always believed in the Nineties that City would come back, because of the strength of the support, but in those days in the Sixties a lot of people didn’t feel that way.

'At that time, a lot of the ‘town’ clubs like Bolton, Burnley and Blackpool, who had all been major powers, began to struggle, and clubs like Accrington Stanley and Bradford Park Avenue were dying. There was a feeling that this could happen to any club. In fact, all it needed at City was a plan and a vision, and to bring in the right manager.'

Martin Samuel: John Terry, don"t fall into Luis Suarez trap… just say sorry

John, don't fall into Suarez trap… just say sorry

Martin Samuel


22:35 GMT, 27 September 2012



22:35 GMT, 27 September 2012

So, as expected, John Terry did not successfully call heads eight times in a row and has been found guilty of using racially aggravated language by the Football Association.

He now has two choices. He can say sorry, try to move on and hope that others will let him; or he pick at this like a festering sore until it risks poisoning his entire system. This is known as the Luis Suarez option.

John Terry drives out of Wembley Stadium

Decision time: John Terry made a terrible misjudgement

Correctly calling heads eight times straight carries the same probability as getting off an FA charge, and Terry may well go to his grave protesting his innocence in this matter.

He may believe, falsely, that he is the only victim here and that the body bringing the action against him is hopelessly compromised on a variety of levels. He will consider the not guilty judgement of the Chief Magistrate of Westminster to supersede any FA verdict. None of that matters now.

Throughout, Terry has made his point. What matters from here is that he admits that the events on October 23, 2011, should be nobody's idea of an acceptable exchange in civilised modern society, and apologises. Whatever his explanation, to end up shouting those three words down a football pitch at another human being is a terrible misjudgement.

By at least admitting as much, by acknowledging he was wrong and would not make the same mistake again, the first step to rehabilitation takes place. Liverpool learned this the hard way over Suarez. There is no textbook governing what Terry should do next; but there is certainly one that teaches what he shouldn't do.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez (left)

Toxic: Liverpool handled Luis Suarez controversy badly

On January 3 this year, Liverpool
announced they would not appeal against Suarez's eight-match FA ban for
racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United, yet did so in such
an aggressive and clumsy way that it made their position 10 times worse.

'I will carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn't done anything wrong,' said Suarez, in the most toxically memorable passage. The rest of the statement attacked the FA, its process and Evra, the wronged party. There was no contrition.

By then, the story had already made the newspapers on John Henry's side of the Atlantic. Unsurprisingly, the controversy merely grew from there with Liverpool's reputation suffering considerable further damage. So that statement becomes the template: of everything Terry must not do.

He wishes to see the full statement explaining the FA panel's decision, before deciding whether to appeal, and this is his right. Clearly, there will be passages that can be picked apart with legal argument, just as there were in the Suarez judgement.

Terry could appeal on the grounds that article 6.8 of the FA Rules and Regulations suggests his case should not even have been brought, once he was found not guilty in Westminster Magistrates Court. That was his strongest argument legally, and it was ignored. Terry may now be advised that a higher court, perhaps the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, would take a more sympathetic view.

Yet what if it did What would then be proved Terry's detractors will continue to believe he got off on a technicality and was fortunate, his supporters – the vast number at Stamford Bridge, certainly – that he has been the subject of an FA power play. The battle lines have been drawn for some while now. Nothing that happens in any court from here will change those perceptions.

Terry is a man who divides opinion and this verdict will not alter that. There will be those who feel he has been unfairly pursued, others who think he has been treated lightly in comparison to Suarez (the size of his fine seems to be a reflection of his weekly salary, rather than a technical judgement).

The fans who regard him as leader and legend will be unmoved by the full verdict, however damning, those who despise him will not soften even if he were to be vindicated in a remote appeal court in six months' time. He will be called names and taunted by opposition fans, but he has lived with that for most of his career anyway.

Nothing much has changed. Any healing process will not be served by a fresh round of legal argument.

It would help if the FA tied such punishments to some form of re-education, rather than turning every offence into a financial bonanza. That way Terry might understand why using the words 'f****** black ****' in any context is unacceptable, rather than just writing a cheque to absolve his sins. Donating the 220,000 fine to a charity of Anton Ferdinand's choice might be a start, also.

Yet the most significant move from here is Terry's. He has paid enough lawyers, agents and image consultants to be steered in the right direction, beginning with a simple and sincere statement of regret.

He may, as his brief reaction quote makes clear in rather restrained fashion, be full of disappointment at the verdict, but he must know it could be worse. And it could most certainly get worse if he fails to heed lessons learned the hard way at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool"s West Bromwich win shows improvement

Spot the difference Rodgers says first win shows Liverpool have transformed



09:13 GMT, 27 September 2012

Manager Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will not easily loosen their grip on the Capital One Cup as he looks forward to a home fourth-round meeting with his former club Swansea.

Rodgers decided to change the entire team for the tie at West Brom but two goals from on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin ensured their first win in domestic football this season.

It was in stark contrast to the 3-0 defeat suffered by the Reds against the Baggies in the opening Barclays Premier League encounter of the campaign.

Voila: Nuri Sahin gave a sign of what might be to come

Voila: Nuri Sahin gave a sign of what might be to come

Rodgers said: 'It was a symbolic night because it shows how far we are moving as a group from our first day of this season.

'Then, we were a bit disjointed and players were not quite understanding my methods.

'But in the last three or four weeks our tempo and relentless possession has started to come through in games.'

Rodgers, who left the Swans for Anfield this summer, said: 'The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so.

'It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there.

'I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night.

'I said to the players afterwards that the cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want to give it up too easy.

'I want us to fight even though it is difficult because of our lack of depth in the group. It is a competition we want to do well in.'

Rodgers in confident the best is still to come from Sahin who was also an Arsenal target before moving to Anfield.

Much better: Brendan Rodgers (right) was pleased with the performance

Much better: Brendan Rodgers (right) was pleased with the performance

He said: 'Nuri is still getting up to speed. It has been difficult for him.

'He was out for a long time and has come here having missed a big part of pre-season.

'But every day he is getting better. He has got great football arrogance, is terrific on the ball.'

Baggies boss Steve Clarke, a former number two at Liverpool, believes the rare mistake by keeper Ben Foster for Sahin's opening goal was crucial after Gabriel Tamas had broken the deadlock.

He said: 'We said we'd have a go, we certainly started that way. I think their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.

At the double: Sahin pockets his second goal

At the double: Sahin pockets his second goal

'I don't know why, maybe because it was such a soft goal to lose, but it knocked us back a bit in the first half.

'It is unusual for Ben. I don't think it's even worth having an in-depth discussion about it. It is not like Ben, it doesn't happen very often and we move on.'

Clarke admitted left-back Liam Ridgewell is a doubt for Sunday's derby at Aston Villa after limping out of action during the first half with a calf injury.

Stevenage 1 Southampton 4: Tadanari Lee

Stevenage 1 Southampton 4: Lee kick starts season but Saints helped by ref's mistake



20:44 GMT, 28 August 2012

The sun rose on Southampton’s season thanks to a goal from their Japan star Tadanari Lee and a mistake by referee Oliver Langford.

Lee, signed in January from Sanfrecce Hiroshima, was playing for the first time since injuring his foot in March. He broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute but it was the second goal, scored by Billy Sharp, which infuriated Stevenage boss Gary Smith.

Shooting star: Tadanari Lee opened the scoring for Southampton

Shooting star: Tadanari Lee opened the scoring for Southampton

Match facts

Stevenage: Day, Gray, Ashton, Roberts, Charles, Freeman, Dunne, Tansey, Rodgers, Akins, Haber. Subs not used: Arnold, Grant, Furlonge, Ball, Thalassitis, N'Gala, Shroot.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Richardson, Ward-Prowse, Lee, Shaw, Butterfield, Chaplow, Seaborne, Hammond, Puncheon, Sharp. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Stephens, Chambers, Reeves, Moore, Hoskins, Sinclair.

Referee: Oliver Langford.

Mark Roberts tried to play a long
pass out of defence but slipped and sliced it towards his own
goalkeeper, Chris Day, who promptly picked it up. Referee Langford saw
it as an intentional backpass, gave a free-kick and Richard Chaplow fed
Sharp, who scored before Stevenage could regroup.

With Smith still venting his fury at the fourth official, Jason Puncheon added the third with a brilliant volley from 30 yards.

After defeats from their opening two
Premier League games, Nigel Adkins was relieved to see his team
rediscover the winning habit ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester
United at St Mary’s.

Adkins took the risk of changing his
entire team at the Lamex Stadium. Out went those beaten by Wigan on
Saturday, in came a collection of fringe players and highly-rated
youngsters, including academy products Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse.

Controversy: Billy Sharp hits the second, much to the fury of Stevenage players (below)

Controversy: Billy Sharp hits the second, much to the fury of Stevenage players (below)

Controversy: Billy Sharp hits the second, much to the fury of Stevenage players (below)

Controversy: Billy Sharp hits the second, much to the fury of Stevenage players (below)

It might have been easier had Sharp’s
goal in the fourth minute not been ruled out for offside but Saints
struggled to dominate their League One hosts. Ward-Prowse went close
with a deflected effort from the edge of the area and Daniel Seaborne
headed over when he ought to have hit the target but Stevenage
threatened at the other end, where goalkeeper Paolo Gazzaniga, 20, was
making his Southampton debut.

Greg Tansey rattled the bar in the
eighth minute with a free-kick from 20 yards, James Dunne headed a good
chance wide at the far post, Gazzaniga saved from Robbie Rogers and
Roberts slammed a shot into the side-netting from a corner.

Saints emerged for the second half
with more purpose and Lee put them in control within eight minutes.
Puncheon threaded a pass into the feet of Sharp, as he spun behind the
back four, and he picked out Lee at the back post who applied an assured

Then came the Sharp controversy and
the best goal of the night from Puncheon. Stevenage pulled one back in
stoppage time through substitute Michael Thalassitis.

Diego Maradona"s Al Wasl ban Majed Nasser for entire season for headbutt

Maradona's keeper banned for ENTIRE season after 'disgraceful' headbutt



15:50 GMT, 13 June 2012

Diego Maradona's Al Wasl have banned controversial goalkeeper Majed Nasser for the entire 2012-13 season after he was sent off in the Gulf region's Champions League final on Sunday for a headbutt.

United Arab Emirates international Nasser was dismissed 10 minutes into the second leg against Bahraini side Al Muharraq, who took advantage of the extra player to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit and prevail on penalties.

Slump: Diego Maradona watches Al-Wasl's defeat against Al-Muharraq

Slump: Diego Maradona watches Al-Wasl's defeat against Al-Muharraq

Happier times: Maradona (right) with Al-Wasl goalkeeper Majed Nasser (left) back in May

Happier times: Maradona (right) with Al-Wasl goalkeeper Majed Nasser (left) back in May

The Dubai side's directors described Nasser's behaviour as a 'disgraceful act' that was 'detrimental, not just to the reputation of Al Wasl, but the country as a whole,' in a statement on the club's website.

The 28-year-old Nasser has a history of violence and was banned for 17 matches earlier this year for slapping a rival coach, which led to him announcing his retirement from the sport only to later backtrack.

The loss capped a disappointing first season in charge for Argentine great Maradona, who led Al Wasl to eighth in the 12-team standings.

The World Cup winner has said he plans to see out his two year contract with the side and is already preparing for next season which starts in September.

Amir Khan rematch in doubt after Lamont Peterson fails drug test

Khan rematch could be called off after Peterson fails drug test



06:35 GMT, 8 May 2012

Amir Khan's rematch with Lamont Peterson is in serious doubt after the American tested positive for a banned substance.

The fight is due to take place on
May 19 in Las Vegas, five months after Peterson stunned the reigning WBA
and IBF light-welterweight champion in their controversial first

In doubt: Amir Khan may call off rematch with Lamont Peterson (left) after failed drugs test

In doubt: Amir Khan may call off rematch with Lamont Peterson (left) after failed drugs test

But with less than two weeks until the rematch, the revelation by Peterson's team has thrown Kahn's plans into disarray.

Peterson's attorney, Jeff Fried, issued the following statement late on Monday: 'We have tremendous respect for VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association] and its mission. Lamont, [his trainer] Barry [Hunter] and the entire team emphatically support random drug-testing in the most comprehensive manner possible.

'We are working expeditiously with a team of pathologists and other medical specialists. Lamont has never had a positive test either before or after this isolated occurrence and we plan to submit medical findings by close of Tuesday reflecting the actual facts in support of Lamont's good faith intentions and the requirements of the commission.'

Ironically, it was Peterson who suggested the pair undergo Olympic-style drugs testing in the build-up to the fight.

Speaking in March, he said: 'It's not that we think Khan is cheating
or anything. It's just that there are people who are out there cheating
and they have new methods of cheating.

'And we do urine tests all the time so why not take blood tests and make sure everyone is safe in the ring.'

Reports suggested that Peterson has tested positive for synthetic
testosterone and while there is no evidence that the 28-year-old is
guilty of any wrongdoing, the substance can be used to increase muscle
strength and mass and shorten recovery time.

Point to prove: Peterson controversially beat Khan

Point to prove: Peterson controversially beat Khan

Asif Vali, Khan's business manager, told Sky Sports News: “Obviously last night it was a shock when I received the call to say Lamont had failed a drug test.

'However, the Peterson team seem to think that something's gone wrong during the very first VADA drug test which Lamont took in March. Their explanation is that it's something he took earlier on in the year – before the last fight.'

Asked whether the fight was on or off as things stood, he replied: 'The fight's on. Obviously the Nevada commission will come back to us with their findings. They'll look at things quite in depth before they make a final decision. That decision's due to come to us by the end of play on Tuesday.'

Vali added on Sky Sports News of Khan: 'He's very disappointed. Bear in mind he went to the training camp early to get ready for this fight and nobody likes to see a boxer go through preparations for a fight and then find out at the last hurdle that something's gone wrong – certainly when it's not their fault.

'We're 10 days away from the fight. We don't want to make any assumptions in any way, shape or form. The fight is still on at the moment. I know the fans will be disappointed. People waking up will be in shock. People have made plans to go there. We want to do everything possible to ensure the fight's on.'

Khan complained to the WBA, IBF and Washington DC commission after losing his light-welterweight titles to Peterson in the American's hometown, Washington, last year.

He highlighted several grievances, chiefly referee Joseph Cooper's deduction of two points, the judges' scoring of the bout and the unexplained presence of 'mystery man' Mustafa Ameen at ringside.