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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Coe sees Christie in Olympic role
Lord Coe
Coe and Christie have had a high-profile falling out
London's Olympic Organising Committee chairman Lord Coe says Linford Christie "has a lot to offer" as a coach to British athletes at the 2012 Games.

Christie failed a drugs test in 1999 and was not part of London's 2012 bid.

But the former Olympic champion has successfully coached Darren Campbell and Katharine Merry to Olympic medals.

"We need as many people that have real mentoring skills to be involved in this project, but the decision is down to UK Athletics," Coe told Radio Five Live.

Coe and Christie had a high-profile falling out four years ago during a series of media exchanges.

Christie, who won Olympic gold in 1992, said that athletics was "corrupt" only for his former Great Britain team-mate Coe to respond by accusing of Christie of "boorish" behaviour during his time as GB team captain.

Linford Christie has given an explanation, he has made a strong case and argument for coaching
Lord Coe

The row came as Christie ended a two-year ban after testing positive for nandrolone.

But Coe believes that Christie could play a part in helping British sprinters in the build-up to 2012.

"It is very important we have as many competitors who have experience to give young athletes the opportunity to get those," Coe added.

"Daley Thompson is going to do that, Jonathan Edwards works with us on that.

"Linford Christie has been there at the highest level. He has given an explanation, he has made a strong case and argument for coaching.

"The decision is not for the local organising committee - that is a UK Athletics issue."

Meanwhile, Coe insists the preparations for the London Games will avoid the difficulties experienced by Athens in 2004.

It is on time, we have had a good start
Lord Coe

The Greek capital only just managed to complete preparations in time after a delay in the start of the construction programme but Coe says London will learn from those mistakes.

"The difference between a good Games and a great Games is dealing with the customer care issues that you can't deal with in the last six months if you are just chasing construction deadlines," he said.

"That was what made Sydney so good and when I was competing, what made Los Angeles so good. Athens was a very, very good Games but they left themselves a very tight schedule.

"There were things that could have made Athens very special - like the issues around volunteers, the way a city opens up to visitors, they way you can organise the free live sites.

"For example, for the Commonwealth Games triathlon in Melbourne there weren't people left at the side of the road watching athletes coming at them and then disappearing, they had big screens with people explaining what was going on.

"These are the things that over the final six months you will be really wanting to be getting right - you don't want to be making sure a roof is on a building."

It has been exactly a year since the announcement that London had won the right to host the 2012 Games and Coe insists everything is going according to plan.

"It is on time, we have had a good start," he said. "But this is a complex project.

"We will need every moment between now and July 27, 2012 to complete this but at this moment we are on schedule."

Campbell wants Christie call-up
05 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Christie hits out at Olympic snub
14 Oct 05 |  Athletics
British legends get mentor roles
14 Apr 06 |  Athletics
Preparing for 2012
06 Jul 06 |  Olympics 2012
London unveils Olympic masterplan
07 Jun 06 |  Olympics 2012

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