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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 17:02 GMT
Christie takes the stand
Linford Christie
Christie: Currently serving a two-year IAAF ban
Former Olympic 100 metres champion Linford Christie has told the High Court that a senior British official believed all athletes were drug users.

Christie, speaking on behalf of former Commonwealth champion Diane Modahl who is seeking damages from the British Athletics Federation, recalled a conversation he had 11 years ago with Dr Martin Lucking in Gateshead.

Dr Lucking, the doping officer for the BAF, told Christie he assumed that all athletes were guilty until proven innocent.

Christie tested positive for a stimulant at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but was cleared after the International Olympic Committee decided the substance could have come from the permitted substance ginseng.

"I asked him if he thought I was on drugs and he said yes," Christie said.

"He said I had had a lucky escape at Seoul and then we began to have an argument."

Britain's most famous sprinter is currently serving a two-year ban imposed by the IAAF last August after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Christie denies taking the drug.

Drug Testing

When questioned by the BAF lawyer at the trial, Christie insisted he had no problem about being regularly tested for drugs.

"I volunteered to be tested. I was the first athlete to be blood tested in our sport," he continued.

"It's annoying that you have to wee when they tell you to but you can't complain."

Modahl is seeking 1m from the BAF - now in administration and superseded by UK Athletics - over the four-year drugs ban imposed by the BAF in December 1994.

This followed a suspension imposed in September 1994 after urine tests in Lisbon three months earlier allegedly showed a high level of testosterone.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation lifted the ban in July 1995 after doubts were cast on the accuracy of the tests.

Modahl is claiming the 480,000 she spent on legal and medical advice, plus a similar figure in punitive damages over the way the case was handled by the BAF.

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See also:

20 Nov 00 |  Athletics
Modahl damages case opens
10 Aug 00 |  Drugs in Sport
Britain's positive tests
31 Jul 00 |  Drugs in Sport
Doping: Banned substances
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