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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 12:47 GMT


Christie could get two-year ban

Christie wins the bronze medal at the 1987 World Championships

Former Olympic champion sprinter Linford Christie could be banned for two years for alleged drug use.

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The 39-year-old's positive test for nandrolone has been referred by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) council to its arbitration panel.

Christie tested positive for the anabolic steroid at an indoor meeting in Dortmund, Germany, last February.

The Briton, who won Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992, is in semi-retirement but has vowed to clear his name.

He was cleared by the UK Athletics governing body, who ruled that it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that substances found in his urine sample were caused by nandrolone.

But on the second day of a two-day meeting the IAAF council accepted a recommendation from its Doping Commission that Christie's case be sent to arbitration.

If the panel rejects UK Athletics' finding Christie, the former European and world champion will automatically be banned for two years.

The council also decided to send the cases of former world high jump champion Javier Sotomayor and British 400 metres hurdler Gary Cadogan to arbitration.

The Cuban tested positive for cocaine at the Pan American Games in Canada last July and will miss next year's Sydney Olympics if his case is upheld.

Like Christie, Cadogan was also found innocent by the UK Athletics disciplinary committee.

The decisions were announced by IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai.

Germans suspend Baumann

In a separate development former Olympic champion Dieter Baumann has also tested positive for nandrolone.

The German has always fought against doping in athletics, but has been suspended by his country's athletics federation the DLV.

Traces of the controversial steroid appeared in two samples of his urine taken during training in the past five weeks.

Both showed Baumann had levels of nandrolone 10 times over the accepted limit.

Under DLV rules any athlete who tests positive for anabolics is automatically suspended for two years pending a hearing by the governing body.

Baumann confirmed the news earlier in Friday but denied any wrongdoing and said he had no explanation for the tests.

The distance runner had said last May he felt justice should deal with drug cheats and take tough sanctions.

Like Christie, he was a gold medallist in Barcelona, in Baumann's case in the 5,000m event.

Nandrolone has been athletics' most controversial issue of 1999 with a series of athletes testing positive for the substance despite many being outspoken opponents of doping.

Many have called for detailed investigation into the substance, and whether it is produced by some other process.

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