Sunday, 14 October 2012

David Flatman: Unlike that bloke Armstrong, I once failed a drugs test

Hang on a minute; let me add some context to this headline before you damn me as the next Lance Armstrong. What I am about to describe is a week so dreadful that a failed drugs test will seem insignificant. Yes, a letter written entirely in French landed in my pigeon hole and yes, I had to have Thomas Castaign├Ęde translate it for me but, to be honest, by that point I had resigned myself to a career in the shadows anyway.
It all began one crisp Monday morning as I rolled into camp with the England A squad for a match against France A. It was a big game, so the lead-up was crucial. "Passports please," said the team manager, and this is where it all started. By Wednesday afternoon, and against all odds, I had a new passport. Sadly, to achieve this I had to miss every training session and tactical briefing. The fact that my original passport dropped out of my wash bag (where I had placed it so as not to lose it) as I packed for the airport is something I have kept a secret from all but my dog. Let's call it an exclusive.


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