Angry Christie in airport scuffle

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The Independent Online
The British sprinter Linford Christie was involved in a scuffle with a press photographer at Zurich airport last night as he was on his way to rejoin the British team at the World Athletics Championships here.

Christie, who was leaving Switzerland after receiving treatment for the hamstring injury that contributed to his 100 metres defeat on Sunday, chased and grabbed Rene Meier, a Swiss photographer working for the Reuters agency.

Watched by astonished passengers, Christie tried to take the photographer's camera before being restrained by three airport security guards.

Earlier, Christie had refused to answer a reporter's question about whether he would take part in Sunday's sprint relay.

"He ran through the security gate and tried to grab my camera," said Meier. "He's a head higher than I am. He grabbed me, he tried to frighten me, but the security men came forward and helped. All three pulled him off.

"I got the camera back and the security men said 'run' and I got away. I didn't understand what he was saying, but he sounded furious. It was not pretty."

Asked about the incident, Christie said: "That doesn't ring any bells with me, not at all. You know about Chinese whispers - the more they go around, the longer they get."

Christie's agent, Sue Barrett, who travelled on the flight with him from Zurich added: "I was there, I didn't see anything. Christie added: "Would I do that ? Would I abuse anybody?"

Christie, who was speaking to the British media for the first time in several weeks when he arrived back in Sweden, said his injury was a lot worse than was first thought. "There's a tear in the hamstring and I'm not running any more this week."

Christie had been receiving medical treatment at the Swiss Sports Centre near Zurich.

Reports, page 22

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