Soccer

Walker to escape sanction for inhaling legal high

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LONDON (AP)

England defender Kyle Walker will not face any disciplinary action after he was pictured inhaling nitrous oxide, a substance commonly known as laughing gas, on a night out during the offseason.

Images published in the Sunday Mirror newspaper appeared to show the Tottenham right back sucking the gas through a balloon in a nightclub. Nitrous oxide isn't illegal but can cause long-term health damage.

Walker apologized on Twitter on Sunday, saying: ''Now I know the health risks, it was poor judgement on my part.''

The Football Association said Monday that it had spoken to Walker about the matter, which took place in June, and that ''he has assured us it will not happen again.''

''Inhaling nitrous oxide is not illegal, but we recognize the associated dangers,'' the FA said in a statement. ''Kyle has accepted this mistake. He will not face any action under the England Player Code of Conduct.''

England coach Roy Hodgson confirmed Monday that Walker, who has played seven times for his country, will start in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday.

''He has made his apology, admitted his mistake but it was a long time ago, he'd forgotten it,'' Hodgson said. ''It would have been much worse had it happened this weekend.''

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