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Monday, 21 August, 2000, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Christie insists: 'I'm innocent'
Christie:
Christie: "Very disappointed".
Linford Christie has hit out at the International Amateur Athletics Federation after his two-year suspension for doping was upheld.

"I have always made it clear that I have no confidence in the IAAF's arbitration process, and this simply reaffirms this," he said in a statement.

"I am very disappointed that the tribunal did not feel able to accept the new scientific evidence presented to them.

"I have never intentionally taken any banned substance and the IAAF has not suggested otherwise.

Encouraged


I have always made it clear that I have no confidence in the IAAF's arbitration process, and this simply reaffirms this
  Linford Christie

"I am encouraged by the fact that they have only been able to rule against me because the rules allow the conviction of those who have done nothing intentionally wrong.

"The important thing to me is that my athletes, family, friends and the public know that I am innocent of any wrong-doing.

"My priority now is the same as it has been all year, which is to prepare my athletes for what should be a successful Olympic Games."

Cadogan

Former hurdler Gary Cadogan has also spoken out against the International Amateur Athletics Federation's decision to uphold his two-year doping suspension.

Cadogan was one of three athletes to receive the ban, along with Christie and 200m star Dougie Walker.


They have no real evidence to base their argument on
  Gary Cadogan
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Cadogan said: "This morning I had a law exam and the first I heard of this was when I received an answerphone message.

"I am angry. It is really alien to me that a person can be so innocent, and yet found guilty because scientists lack the necessary knowledge.

"They have no real evidence to base their argument on."

Cadogan, Christie and Walker were all cleared of using the banned substance nandrolone by UK Athletics earlier this year.

And although they were supported by the organisation during the IAAF's recent arbitration hearing, Cadogan said the whole case had been a farce.

Lack of evidence

"Although UK Athletics have been by my side at this appeal, it was they who initially suspended me on the basis of no evidence," he said.

"UK Athletics are now saying that with such limited evidence I shouldn't be suspended and yet they did exactly that - so I'm angry I have been suspended for something I know I haven't done.

"I've been told it's not how you start, it's how you finish. I was a pretty good athlete. But that's not going to be mentioned when people say my name - all they'll talk about is this.

The former 400m runner said he hoped Mark Richardson, who is also due to appear before the IAAF, would receive better news.

"Mark Richardson I don't know personally. But I've always known him to be an excellent man of character," he said.

"It's clear he wouldn't take a risk knowing the problems myself and Linford have had.

"It's a huge problem - obviously I hope he goes to Sydney - but it's up to the IAAF.

"They would be extremely cruel and spiteful to allow him to run and then ban him.

"If there are going to do anything to him of a negative nature they must do it now.

"They can't say to him, 'Well, you ran well Mark but we're going to take everything away for something we don't really know anything about.'"

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See also:

21 Aug 00 |  Athletics
British trio rocked by doping bans
21 Aug 00 |  Athletics-Field
Protest over Sotomayor comeback
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