Diane Modahl wins her appeal against drugs ban

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The Independent Online
Diane Modahl, the British athlete who was sent home in disgrace from last summer's Commonwealth Games after a positive dope test, heard last night that she had won her appeal against a four-year ban.

Modahl, who is expecting a baby in October, pronounced herself "thrilled, delighted and very, very excited".

Last December, the former Commonwealth 800 metres champion appeared before the press with eyes brimming with tears after a British Athletic Federation hearing had agreed unanimously that she had breached international doping regulations. Last night, at a London hotel, her eyes shone with joy as she sat beside her husband Vicente, and thanked all those who had supported her.

But she still faces a further possible challenge from the International Amateur Athletic Federation after a decision that calls into question the reliability of their drug-testing programme. Modahl's case is now likely to go to an IAAF arbitration panel.The three-strong BAF appeal panel which reported yesterday after deliberating for 24 hours was chaired by Robert Reid, QC, who conducted the investigation into the financial affairs of ex-Arsenal manager George Graham.

The panel concluded that there was reasonable doubt over the findings of a Portuguese laboratory last June which reported massive levels of the male hormone testosterone in a urine sample taken from Modahl after she had competed in Lisbon.

Modahl, who has always protested her innocence, has had widespread support within the sport since being charged.

Doubts cast, page 26