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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Christie defends Ohuruogu slip-up
Christine Ohuruogu
Ohuruogu faces a two-year ban if found guilty of a doping offence
Linford Christie has defended British athlete Christine Ohuruogu after she was provisionally suspended for missing three out-of-competition drug tests.

Ohuruogu, 22, faces a UK Athletics hearing and could be banned for up to two years if found guilty, and barred from the Olympics for life.

But Christie, set to become a GB team mentor, said Commonwealth 400m champion Ohuruogu's only crime was being naive.

"Of course Christine didn't cheat. She's just naive, not guilty," he said.

The former Olympic 100m champion, whose Nuff Respect company manages Ohuruogu, was speaking a day after it was revealed 70 British athletes had missed out-of-competition tests.

Under the rules, athletes have to inform the drug-testing authorities where they will be for one hour, five days out of seven each week. Three missed tests constitutes a suspension.

I'm not here to worry about what other people think about a moral dilemma - my moral dilemma is that I didn't do anything wrong

Linford Christie
But Christie, who was banned for two years after testing positive for steroids in 1999, wants governing bodies to play an enhanced role in informing testers of athletes' whereabouts.

"Some athletes are not great at lifestyle management. They think it's not their job and they are here to perform," he said.

"There are people in the team here, ringing up London saying: 'We're at the European Championships' - they have to do it.

"It's going to be a problem and a lot more are going to be caught up."

Christie is set to join former Olympic javelin silver-medallist Steve Backley, two-time Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson and Katharine Merry, the Games 400m bronze medallist in 2000, as mentors for the British team leading up to London 2012.

And he rejected concerns about that role given his doping conviction.

"It shows first of all that they think I'm innocent, that they've got faith in me." Christie said.

"I'm not here to worry about what other people think about a moral dilemma.

"My moral dilemma is that I didn't do anything wrong and as long as I go to bed a night and I can sleep I don't worry about what people think.

"I didn't get to be world, Olympic and European champion by worrying about what people think about me."

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08 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu banned for missing tests
06 Aug 06 |  Athletics
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19 Jul 06 |  Athletics
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21 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
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04 Aug 06 |  Athletics
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