Athletics: Absentees provide golden opportunity for Britons
Saturday 13 December 1997
It was in Lisbon three years ago that Diane Modahl underwent the fateful test that led to her initial suspension and the costly court case which ultimately contributed towards the financial collapse of the British Athletic Federation. The positive sample of concern to British team officials on this occasion, however, is the one Iulia Negura of Romania gave at last year's European cross-country event in Charleroi.
Negura's disqualification after winning the women's race in Belgium led to Romania's exclusion from the team result and Britain's elevation from third to second place. The British team, however, are still waiting to receive their silver medals.
"They didn't even get the bronze medals in the first place," Dave Clarke, the Great Britain team manager, said. "It's the first thing we want to sort out. The girls earned those medals and they deserve to have them."
The three British team counters of 12 months ago - Hayley Haining, Andrea Whitcombe and Suzanne Rigg - are all absentees this time. So is Paula Radcliffe. With the World Cross-Country Championship silver medallist contesting the Waikiki road mile in Honolulu today, Vikki McPherson will lead the British challenge in the women's race.
The leading light of British men's cross-country will also be missing. Still recovering from his marathon debut in Chicago two months ago, Jon Brown has decided to concentrate on preparing for the County Durham international event on January 3 rather than defend his title in Lisbon.
Injury has deprived the host nation of Paulo Guerra, the winner in 1994 and 1995 and runner-up to Brown last year, so a first-time champion is guaranteed.
The leading candidates include Martin Fiz, the Spaniard who has won both gold and silver World Championship marathon medals, and Mustapha Essaid, the naturalized Frenchman who finished third in Charleroi.
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, claims photographer
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...