England's Football Association has published the written reasons behind the independent regulatory commission's verdict on John Terry's recent racial abuse hearing, for which the Chelsea captain was found guilty, banned for four games and fined 220,000 pounds.
Terry's case was found to be "improbable, implausible and contrived", and that ultimately there was "no credible basis" for his claim that he was only repeating the words: "f****** black c***" that Anton Ferdinand had already stated.
The commission said that it was: "quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr Terry's defense that his use of the words 'f****** black c***' were directed at Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry. Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of an insult.
"We are able to arrive at that decision without needing to make any adverse findings against Mr Terry arising out of his decision not to give evidence. Accordingly, the commission finds that there is 'clear and convincing evidence'."
The commission also added that: "It is not the FA's case that John Terry is a racist. There is a large body of testimonial evidence, including statements from black footballers, to say he is not.
"It is accepted by everyone involved in the criminal and disciplinary proceedings that Mr Terry is not a racist."
The commission stated that it brought the case against Terry despite him being acquitted by a court of his peers because the purpose of the criminal proceedings brought by the Crown was not to regulate football, whereas the organization's case was.
Another key factor was that Terry's defense hinged on him believing that Ferdinand had originally asked Terry if he had racially abused him, something the chief magistrate says is: "under the cold light of forensic examination, unlikely. It is not the most obvious response. It is sandwiched between other insults."
Also revealed by the FA was that the use of the word "black" in Ashley Cole's witness statement was introduced retrospectively, casting "considerable doubt" on the left back's claim that he heard, or could have heard Ferdinand use the word "black" when insulting Terry with words and gestures.
Terry now has 14 days to appeal the decision.
Follow GOAL.COM USA on Twitter
- Anton Ferdinand
- John Terry