Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Scottish backing for sprinter
Doug Walker was cleared by UK Athletics last month
Scottish athletics bosses have announced they will back sprinter Dougie Walker whose doping case has been referred to an arbitration panel by the International Amateur Athletics Federation.
The Scottish Athletics Federation has also called for an immediate inquiry into the banned drug nandrolone after the sport's international governing body refused to accept Britain's decision to clear Walker of doping charges.
But the IAAF branded the decision "erroneous" and referred the case to abitration. A date for the hearing will not be set until after the World Championships in Seville, which end on 29 August.
In a statement, Scottish Athletics Federation Chief Executive David Joy said the referral of the Walker case to arbitration "reinforced the call for an immediate inquiry into the drug nandrolone".
He continued: "The Scottish Athletics Federation are disappointed by the decision taken by the IAAF to refer the case of Dougie Walker to arbitration.
"This will inevitably result in another stressful period of waiting for the athlete."
He added: "The Scottish Athletics Federation and UK Athletics will be giving their full support to Walker as we await the panel's decision."
In the meantime, Walker will be free to continue competing.
A spokesperson said: "We now await with him the decision of the arbitration panel. The IAAF is within its rights to make this decision."
Walker's lawyer Nick Bitel later criticised the IAAF's decision, saying that the sprinter was angry that the matter had not been settled.
"Doug is extremely annoyed with the whole decision-making process," he said.
"They were extremely well qualified and I find it a perverse decision."
Traces of the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone were found during a drugs test on Walker last December.
UK Athletics accepted his plea that he had no idea how the substance had entered his body.
But IAAF General Secretary Istvan Gyulai said: "The anti-doping commission (of the IAAF) unanimously believes that this was an erroneous decision.
"The criteria is whether a substance is in the body or not."
"The athletes are quite literally running scared. They don't know, when they are innocent, whether the tests will prove them innocent."