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"Diane Modahl claimed her ban from international athletics caused her personal and professional damage"
 real 14k

Diane Modahl
"He's certainly got it wrong"
 real 14k

Vicente Modahl
"There is a chance"
 real 14k

Thursday, 14 December, 2000, 09:52 GMT
Modahl loses battle for damages
Diane Modahl and husband Vicente
Diane Modahl at the original trial with her husband
The former Commonwealth 800 metres champion Diane Modahl has lost her High Court damages action over a ban imposed in the wake of drug-taking allegations.

Modahl, 34, had alleged bias on the part of a disciplinary committee which imposed the four-year ban in December 1994 - six months after urine tests in Lisbon allegedly showed a high level of testosterone.

An independent appeal panel lifted the ban in July 1995 after doubts were cast on the accuracy of the tests.

She was claiming 480,000 spent on legal and medical advice, plus a similar figure in punitive damages over the way the case was handled by the British Athletic Federation, now in administration and superseded by UK Athletics.

Fair deal

Her solicitor-advocate, Anthony Julius, had told the court that the case was about injustice and the loss of livelihood.

I have experienced success as well as setbacks
  Diane Modahl

"She makes a legal case which is also a moral case. It's a case about bias and it's therefore a case about the proper administration of justice," he told Mr Justice Douglas Brown.

The BAF argued that the doping charge was fairly dealt with and that there was "no substance" to the allegation of actual or apparent bias.

Dismissing her case, the judge said that his conclusion was that Modahl had a "fair deal".

"The constitution of the disciplinary committee was carefully and fairly chosen to give a balance of skills and representation and provide Mrs Modahl trial by at least some of her peers."


The evidence, apart from the "unsuccessful attempts to tarnish" the committee chairman Dr Martyn Lucking, and another committee member Al Guy, was unchallenged.

The judge said that he was compelled to the view that the committee had "carried out its function conscientiously and fairly".

The hearing process provided for an appeal as of right and by way of re-hearing conducted by a QC and two other members and "no sensible criticism" could be made of their adjudication or the decision.

He emphasised that the issue of Mrs Modahl's guilt or innocence was not in question.

"In my six and a half year struggle I have experienced success as well as setbacks," Modahl admitted after the trial.

"The judgment makes it very clear that my guilt or innocence was not in question."

Modahl will appeal against the ruling.

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See also:

23 Nov 00 |  Athletics
Modahl court case on hold
21 Nov 00 |  Athletics
Christie takes the stand
20 Nov 00 |  Athletics
Modahl damages case opens
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