Rio Ferdinand explains why he got famous cornrows hairstyle at Man Utd

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed why he opted to get cornrows during his playing days.

The former Red Devils centre-back, 43, changed to the iconic hairstyle from a buzzcut just after he joined up with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in 2002.

Speaking to the YouTube channel Stripped with Specs & Vuj, the BT Sports pundit said that the reason was the infamous eight-month drug ban he received in 2003.

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“The drug test was the influence. I got banned for missing the drug test,” Ferdinand explained. “To prove my innocence and that I had not taken any illegal substances, I had to get my hair to two inches or something like that, to a certain length.”

“This was so as to take a hair follicle test that could go a year or 18 months to test if you had any type of madness in your system. That’s why I grew my hair, to prove my innocence.”

What was the most iconic hairstyle in the Premier League? Let us know in the comments section below.

The former England international was handed the lengthy ban for missing a drug test. An independent tribunal found him guilty of misconduct, with the ordeal becoming front-page news at the time.

Ferdinand was requested to give a sample to UK Sport doping administrators at the club’s training ground – known as ‘Carrington’ – but failed to show up, leading to the ban.

The London-born former player, who was 25 years old at the time, missed the remainder of United's season and the Euro 2004 finals with England.

Evidence was heard by the FA's three-man disciplinary commission of Barry Knight, Peter Herd and Frank Pattison and the ban was imposed after 18 hours of deliberation over a two-day period.

Ferdinand eventually provided a sample on September 25, two days after the initial date, and testing proved that to be negative.

The former Leeds and West Ham player made his return in a 2-1 win against Liverpool in September 2004, captaining his side at home.


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