Wednesday, August 4, 1999 Published at 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Christie: Legend under fire
Linford Christie wins Olympic gold
Linford Christie is one of the best-known athletes of his generation and was the first man to win every major 100m title in world athletics.
The 39-year-old is an icon to young British athletes as the Jamaican boy from west London who went on to win the 1992 Olympic 100m gold.
But despite Christie's attempts to cast himself as the "Mr Clean" of an event dogged by high profile drugs disgraces, most notably Canada's twice-banned Ben Johnson, he has faced allegations of using performance enhancing drugs before.
In the 1988 Olympics, he tested positive for miniscule traces of the stimulant pseudoephedrine. His explanation that it came from a non-banned ginseng product was only narrowly accepted by the authorities.
Then in the summer of 1998, he won £40,000 in libel damages against armed robber-turned-author John McVicar, who claimed that Christie's astonishing achievements were "consistent with the use of anabolic steroids".
The case ultimately left the sprinter £50,000 out of pocket, but he believed it was worth it because he had been completely exonerated.
Christie's record is quite remarkable, with a haul of 23 major titles as he shot from 156th to 4th in the world rankings for his event. He has even received an OBE in recognition of his services to British athletics.
His sometimes controversial pronouncements - such as accusing reporters of "sexual harrasment" for referring to his famous "lunchbox" running suit - were always tempered in the public eye by the fact that he had won gold in the highest profile Olympic event of all.
And perhaps not without cause, given his fraught private life. Russell, his younger brother and a career petty criminal, was stabbed to death at the age of 34 on London's Portobello Road.
Since effectively retiring from serious competition, Christie has pursued a successful career as a promoter and trainer to upcoming young British talent, such as the sub-10 second sprinter Darren Campbell.
Christie's career record