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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Moorcroft admits Arbeit doubts
Denise Lewis
Lewis is aiming to compete at the World Championships in Paris
UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft has said he would have refused to have been coached by Denise Lewis' controversial new advisor Dr Ekkart Arbeit.

Lewis and coach Frank Dick decided to appoint Dr Arbeit to help her return to fitness to defend her Olympic heptathlon crown in Athens in 2004.

But Arbeit has been linked with doping programmes in East Germany in the 1970s and 80s and UK Athletics has been accused of sending out mixed messages by refusing to condemn his appointment.

Moorcroft told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme that Dr Arbeit's appointment was a decision for Lewis and Dick, but admitted he had reservations.

"No I wouldn't wish to be coached by Dr Arbeit," he said.

"But I haven't been asked that question. Denise has made that decision, and Frank has made that decision based on what she needs at this time in a very complicated event."

Moorcroft said Dr Arbeit had expressed regret over his involvement in the East German doping programme and deserved another chance.

"I competed in an era in which there was massive drug abuse," he said.

"We were probably beaten by people who took drugs. But many of those people have now been integrated into the sport."

UK Athletics president Lynn Davies has insisted the governing body felt comfortable with giving Dr Arbeit accreditation.

It's time for rehabilitation rather than recrimination
Lynn Davies
UK Athletics president

The former Olympic long jump champion said Lewis was being treated no differently to any other British athlete.

He backed Moorcroft's view that there was no evidence Dr Arbeit would advocate drug use for Lewis, and said Jonathan Edwards had also given his appointment his blessing.

"He said it is now 14 years since the demise of the eastern European countries and obviously, with a Christian-like approach, it's now time to move on," said Davies.

"It's time for rehabilitation rather than recrimination.

"It was Frank's decision to surround himself with a team of experts and he rates Arbeit as probably the world's leading strength authority."

Lewis did her quest to land a place in the GB team for the World Championships no harm with a good performance in Belgium on Saturday.

In the javelin at a small meeting in Belgium, the Sydney gold-medallist produced a throw of 46.28 metres - just five metres off her personal best.

The crunch time will come in Estonia in two weeks, where the 30-year-old hopes to achieve the qualifying standard of 6,109 points for August's World Championships.

UK Athletics chief executive Dave Moorcroft
"Our role is to interpret the rules as they exist"

UK Athletics president Lynn Davies
"We are respecting the choice made by Frank Dick"

Drug row taints Lewis comeback
12 Jun 03  |  Athletics

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