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Mark Richardson
"I had nothing to hide"
 real 28k

Professor Ron Maughan, Aberdeen University
"It's possible for people who take supplements to produce a positive finding"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Richardson in the clear
Mark Richardson
Richardson after his exoneration by UK Athletics
Mark Richardson has been cleared by UK Athletics of using the banned steroid nandrolone.

Richardson, the 27-year-old Commonwealth 400m silver medallist, was suspended from competition after testing positive last October.

But UK Athletics have announced he is free to compete in the British Olympic trials following fresh research into the nandrolone controversy.

Richardson said: "I am delighted to have been cleared of all charges and am looking forward to competing this summer and hopefully at the Olympic Games in Sydney."

However, the decision by UK Athletics still has to be approved by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, which could refer Richardson's case to its own arbitration panel.

He added: "I don't know what standpoint the IAAF are going to take. I'm just really happy and I'm going to take it one day at a time."

Supported

Richardson can take heart from the fact that the IAAF have supported the new research by Professor Ron Maughan and his team at Aberdeen University.


I am delighted to have been cleared of all charges and am looking forward to competing this summer and hopefully at the Olympic Games in Sydney.
  Mark Richardson
David Moorcroft, chief executive of UK Athletics, said: "I am pleased that Mark Richardson has been cleared.

"I would particularly like to thank the members of the research project centred at Aberdeen University whose work has played a key role in the evidence presented to the panel."

The researchers' report concludes that "a combination of exercise and dietary supplements, none of which appears to contain a prohibited substance, can result in a positive nandrolone finding."

Moorcroft added: "What we want now is a full-blown project with the sufficient numbers involved and which will be scientifically validated, but that could take months rather than days."

Denied

One of the few men to have beaten world 400m record-holder Michael Johnson, Windsor runner Richardson has always denied taking any banned substances.

His training partner Mark Hylton was cleared of a similar offence last week after doubts were cast over the testing procedures in his nandrolone case.

Doug Walker
Walker has taken the IAAF to court
Earlier this month, his cause was aided when the IAAF cleared Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey of using nandrolone.

Linford Christie and Doug Walker have both been cleared by UK Athletics, but such is the confusion surrounding nandrolone that the IAAF recently postponed its arbitration hearings into their cases.

Scottish sprinter Walker has now begun legal proceedings against the international governing body in the High Court in a desperate bid to resume his career. He was cleared by UK Athletics last summer.

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