Calzaghe Apologises To Fans Over Cocaine Use
Boxing champion Joe Calzaghe has apologised to fans after admitting occasional cocaine use.
The former world middleweight and light-heavyweight title holder said he had taken the drug during "what have sometimes been the long days" since his retirement.
It follows a News of the World sting in which he discussed with an undercover reporter buying and taking cocaine.
In an apology posted on his website, the unbeaten boxer said he regretted his occasional cocaine use and apologised to friends, family and fans.
Calzaghe's admission follows an investigation by the paper's Mazher Mahmood.
The so-called Fake Sheikh has previously tricked royalty, sports stars and celebrities using a number of guises.
The newspaper reported that during the meeting with the boxer, conversation turned to the subject of cocaine.
It quoted Calzaghe as saying: "I know the score. I done bits and pieces myself. Don't tell my dad for f*** sake. He's no idea."
He reportedly added: "Of course, I do a bit, but the thing is most of it is f****** s*** in Wales. In London it's not too bad."
In a statement released today, Calzaghe said: "I very much regret my occasional use of cocaine in what have sometimes been the long days since my retirement from the ring.
"I am fully aware of the bad example it sets to other people and particularly to youngsters and I apologise to my family, friends and fans.
"It is not a major problem in my life but it is something I am actively addressing."
During the newspaper sting, Calzaghe also made apparently disparaging remarks against fellow boxers including Ricky Hatton, Prince Naseem Hamed and Amir Khan.
In reference to these comments, Calzaghe said: "Many of the other conversations reported to have taken place simply involved men joshing or shooting the breeze over a drink.
"While some statements are either untrue or exaggerations I am, naturally, sorry for any embarrassment their publication may cause to entirely blameless third parties."
9:26am UK, Monday March 29, 2010
Mark Langford, Sky News Online