The Football Association has declared in their report into John Terry's trial for using racially abusive language that the Chelsea defender is "not a racist".
Terry was suspended for four matches and fined £220,000 by the FA for using racially abusive language during a row with Anton Ferdinand when Chelsea played Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in October 2011.
The 31-year-old was found guilty of using "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race" by an independent FA tribunal after a four-day hearing at Wembley last week.
Now retired from international football, Terry's outburst was used "by way of insult" and was said "in the
heat of the moment".
"A significant number of those who are, or have been, involved in the game of professional football have provided character references for Mr. Terry," the report reads.
"They include black players who attest to the fact that, as Chelsea club captain, he welcomes every player to the club and looks after them, irrespective of skin colour, race or ethnicity.
"It is accepted by everyone involved in the criminal and disciplinary proceedings that Mr. Terry is not a racist."
But, in vindicating the suspension and fine, the FA say aspects of Terry's defence were "improbable, implausible and contrived".
The FA stressed it is "quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr. Terry's defence that his use of the words 'f****** black c***' were directed... by way of insult".
Paddy Kenny, the QPR goalkeeper, was also subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade from the England captain, who yelled: “You f****** c***, you f****** cheeky c***”.
Terry's four-match ban - half that of Luis Suárez's for racially abusing Patrice Evra last year - is owed to the fact he insulted Ferdinand once, whereas Suárez did so repeatedly.
"In contrast with a previous high profile FA disciplinary case involving racial abuse, Mr. Terry‟s racist insult was issued only once," the report confirmed.
The Commission also expressed "considerable doubt" over evidence provided by Ashley Cole.
This is in reference to Cole's claim "he heard, or could have heard" Ferdinand use the word "black" during the heated row between him and Terry.
Chelsea's club secretary David Barnard asked for the word black to be inserted into Cole's evidence, but his recollections are deemed "materially defective".
Cole refused to shake hands with Ferdinand at the end of QPR's 1-0 Premier League victory, saying "nah, you can't talk to JT like that."
This was in response to Ferdinand saying to Terry “How can you call me a c***, you shagged your team mate's missus, you‟re the c***.”
Ferdinand meanwhile is praised for acting with "restraint and dignity" despite being the "subject of hateful abuse and adverse comments".
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more