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UK Sport's Michelle Veroken
"We need to know exactly what kind of trials were carried out"
 real 28k

Saturday, 4 March, 2000, 10:19 GMT
Athlete faces drugs probe

Mark Richardson is playing the waiting game
Top British athlete Mark Richardson is due to appear before a United Kingdom drugs advisory committee.

The 400m runner will try to explain how the banned susbstance nandrolone showed up in a random urine test last October.

Like fellow British athletes Linford Christie and Doug Walker, he has consistently protested his innocence, citing food substances as the cause of the failed drug test.


British fans have backed the athletes who tested positive
Richardson's appearance before the committee comes at a time when doubts are growing over the origins of nandrolone.

Research by football's world ruling body Fifa found that the amount of nandrolone in the body could be affected by stress.

Fifa carried out tests on Swiss footballers to reach the conclusions, which could have a bearing on the recent spate of positive tests for the drug in athletics.

The research has been welcomed by UK Sport, the organisation responsible for testing in Britain.

Stress test

But Michelle Veroken, director of ethics and anti-doping for UK Sport, said the results would need to be verified.

She said: "Until we've actually had the chance to see the full data that's been collected here from 180 footballers, it's important we just keep it as information.

"There was a comparable study from the Nagano Winter Olympics, where over 600 athletes took part in conditions that have to be described as mentally and physically stressful.

"There was no evidence there that the reporting level required by the International Olympic Committee was in any way a matter for concern."

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05 Aug 99 |  Medical notes
Nandrolone and anabolic steroids
Links to other Sport stories are at the foot of the page.