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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 15:55 GMT
Radcliffe handed power of veto
Paula Radcliffe protests against EPO cheats
Radcliffe (right) has fought a hard anti-drugs campaign
Paula Radcliffe has been given the power to prevent controversial star Olga Yegorova running in certain British events next season.

Athletics promoter Fast Track has indicated that it will not invite the Russian world champion to British televised events if Radcliffe says she will not compete against her.

The two athletes have been locked in a bitter feud since Yegorova failed a drugs test before the World Championships in Edmonton.

Paula is more important to the British meets than Yegorova
Jon Ridgeon
Fast Track director

The Russian was allowed to run there and took gold in the 5,000m, before having her drugs charge dropped due to the mishandling of one of her urine samples.

"We could never tolerate a situation where Paula says she is not going to run if Olga Yegorova is running," Jon Ridgeon, Fast Track director of athletics, told the Times.

"Clearly that would make our decision for us because Paula is more important to the British meets than Yegorova.

"I hope it won't happen, though, and that everyone is willing to run against whoever. We must remember that the IAAF (athletics' governing body) has not banned Yegorova."

Fast Track does not anticipate a situation where Yegorova could successfully sue for loss of earnings in the event of her being left out.

Olga Yegorova with her gold medal in Edmonton
Yegorova struck gold in Edmonton

"The promoter reserves the right to allow admission, so any athlete has to be invited to compete," a spokesman said.

This does not apply to championships - for which qualification takes place.

And neither will Fast Track stand in the way of the Russian selection process for international fixtures - whether they take place in Britain or not.

It is not yet clear whether athletes other than Radcliffe possess enough power to be allowed to block Yegorova from British track meets.

Fast Track will look at each protest lodged on its own merits.

"Our job is to create entertaining, exciting meetings and part of that mix is to make sure that our leading British athletes are competing," said Ridgeon.

See also:

02 Oct 01 |  Athletics
Yegorova doping case dropped
07 Sep 01 |  Athletics
Yegorova sample 'sabotaged'
04 Sep 01 |  Athletics
Goodwill glory for Yegorova
23 Aug 01 |  Athletics
Szabo faces Russian legal threat
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