Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has thrown his full support behind his former assistant Carlos Queiroz, who is fighting allegations of misconduct that could cost him his job as Portugal coach.
Ferguson testified on the international manager's behalf at a Portuguese Football Federation hearing into charges he was aggressive and insulting towards an anti-doping team sent to test the Portugal squad ahead of the World Cup. Queiroz has denied disrupting the tests but could be suspended - and consequently fired - if he is found guilty. The Scot was among the witnesses called by Queiroz to provide character references at a disciplinary hearing in Lisbon. Queiroz was Ferguson's assistant at Old Trafford for five years before taking charge of Portugal.
"He's a fantastic coach and teacher, and his main purpose in life is to develop young people, to inspire them and to make sure they turn out good human beings, so that's the reason I'm here to support him, because I know him well and he's a great man of great dignity," Ferguson told reporters after testifying.
"Carlos is one of the good guys," he added.
The incident occurred in May at the squad's training camp in central Portugal before it travelled to South Africa. Officials sent to carry out surprise tests on Portuguese players said Queiroz harassed and intimidated them and used foul language. Disrupting doping tests is punishable by law, either with a fine of up to ?8,200 or a suspension of up to four years.
Queiroz has denied the charges. He has previously said he was angry that the unannounced early morning tests had disturbed the players but said he did not obstruct the testing. He has said he regrets the language he used but said cursing is not unusual in football.
None of the players tested positive.