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UK Athletics legal advisor Karina Fleck
"We will be asking for more time so we can produce clear and convincing evidence."
 real 14k

BBC Five Live's Gordon Farquhar
Report on the IAAF decision
 real 14k

Mark Richardson coach Mike Whittingham
"If the IAAF were worried they probably would have suspended him from competition."
 real 14k

IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai
"They believe that UK Athletics misdirected themselves."
 real 14k

Monday, 21 August, 2000, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
British trio rocked by doping bans
Linford Christie: drugs ban upheld
Linford Christie: drugs ban upheld
Three British athletes including Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie have had two-year bans reinforced after testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone.

Christie, along with Dougie Walker and Gary Cadogan had their doping bans upheld by athletics' ruling body, the International Amateur Athletics Federation.

After almost a week of arbitration in Monte Carlo, former Olympic 100m champion Christie, European 200m gold medallist Walker and former hurdler Cadogan were suspended from the date of their failed tests.

The three athletes had tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, but had been cleared by UK Athletics when the British governing body felt there was reasonable doubt whether the drug had been taken deliberately.

Christie in happier times
Christie in happier times
UK Athletics said on Monday night that it was "very disappointed" with the decision.

In a statement, UK Athletics said: "UK Athletics is very disappointed with the decision. Based on the results of research to date, the athlete and not the system should be given the benefit of the doubt until the research has been fully concluded."

The International Amateur Athletics Federation, in its statement, said: "The Arbitration Panel believes that UK Athletics misdirected itself and reached an erroneous conclusion when clearing these athletes."

UK Athletics has backed a study carried out by the University of Aberdeen, which concluded the drug might occur in the body for reasons other than deliberate doping.

However the IAAF added: "The key argument of this paper was the ingestion of dietary supplements combine with vigorous exercise to result in the production of an elevated concentration of nandrolone metabolites in body fluid.

"The panel decided that no conclusion could be drawn at this stage of the Aberdeen research to exonerate the athletes."

Professor Ron Maughan, head of the team who carried out the research, was surprised by the IAAF's decision.

"The work done was fairly preliminary and we would like to extend it to make sure. However, we did think we had cast doubt that a drugs offence had been committed."

The panel decided that no conclusion could be drawn at this stage of the Aberdeen research to exonerate the athletes
  IAAF statement
The news will shock British athletics - and may sound the death-knell for Mark Richardson's Olympic hopes.

The IAAF said in its statement it had decided to refer Richardson's case, and that of Hungarian athlete Gabor Dobos to the Arbitration Panel which should meet again before the Olympics.

Richardson, who also tested positive for nandrolone and was subsequently cleared by UK Athletics, will now fear that the IAAF may not clear him meaning he is unable to take part in the Sydney Olympics.

Christie's ban is a huge blow to the sport in this country.

The IAAF has said he will not be banned from continuing his coaching of British Olympic athletes European 100m champion Darren Campbell, 400m runner Jamie Baulch and 400m medal hopeful Katharine Merry.

Christie also faces the loss of several lucrative endorsements which currently earn him hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, while a huge shadow will be cast over his achievements as an athlete.

He is regarded as one of Britain's finest-ever sportsmen, claiming the Olympic title in Barcelona in 1992 and world championship gold the following year.

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See also:

21 Aug 00 |  Athletics-Track
Richardson's hopes hang in balance
21 Aug 00 |  Athletics
Christie insists: 'I'm innocent'
25 Jul 00 |  Athletics
A testing time for athletics
31 Jul 00 |  Drugs in Sport
Drugs in world athletics
31 Jul 00 |  Drugs in Sport
Doping: Banned substances
21 Aug 00 |  Athletics-Track
Thomas handed relay reprieve
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