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Newton: I'm sorry

Filed: Wednesday, 19th July 2006
By: Matthew O'Greel

Shaun Newton has issued an apology following the announcement of his seven month ban for drug taking.

Newton, speaking via whufc.com on the day that his ban was made public said:

"I have let down my family, my friends, the club and its supporters - and for that I am truly sorry.

"It was an isolated incident but I must face up to my responsibilities. I in no way condone the taking of drugs and hope that my experience will act as a deterrent to others."

Newton now faces an uncertain future at West Ham, with the Club certain to take disciplinary action against the former Wolves and Charlton player.

Previous high-profile drugs offenders - such as Chelsea's Mark Bosnich - were sacked by their clubs after being caught up in similar scandal. But according to Alan Pardew, this may not necessarily be the case with Newton.

"We will stand by Shaun throughout this difficult time, work with him and ensure that he comes through the other side," he told whufc.com.

"West Ham United has always had a reputation as a family club and our belief here is that when a member of your family is in trouble, you look after them.

"Our priority must be to help him - not abandon him. I hope his experience serves as a lesson to any sportsperson."

Meanwhile, PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor revealed that he was pleased that West Ham are standing by Newton.

"This is a lad who has had an exemplary record," he told Sky Sports News this afternoon.

"It's very unfortunate for him, while it is taken for recreational purposes, it is performance enhancing."

Newton becomes the second pro footballer to be banned for substance abuse in the last seven days following the ban on Wolves youngster Chris Cornes, who also tested positive for cocaine.

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