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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 17:07 GMT
Hunt ban gives athlete run around
The recent ban on fox hunting has left one former Olympic athlete from Nottinghamshire busier then ever.

John Whetton, a 1,500m finalist at the Tokyo and Mexico games is a volunteer runner for the Readyfield Bloodhounds hunt in the East Midlands.

The 64-year-old from Newstead Abbey Park, is chased by hounds over countryside in Notts, Leics and Lincs.

The retired lecturer says the sport is now a hit with hunters who do not want to break the law.

The worst thing that can happen is you get licked to death
John Whetton

"We are not in competition with the fox hunts, but if people have a conscience about the legality of the animal rights issues with fox hunting, and don't want to be in conflict with their friends, they opt to come blood-hounding," he said.

Mr Whetton, who came eighth in the 1964 Olympics and fifth in the Mexico games four years later, says he is not afraid of the dogs but always wants to be first past the finishing line.

He said: "It's a competition. You are competing against them and want to get to the end before they do.

"If they do catch you, the worst thing that can happen is you get licked to death. They are very friendly."

Hunts deny breaching hound laws
06 Dec 05 |  Lincolnshire



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