American pair may defy IAAF

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The Independent Online
Mary Slaney and Sandra Farmer-Patrick, who have been suspended by the International Amateur Athletic Federation for alleged drug use, may both still compete in the US Championships which begin today at Indiana University.

Slaney has been entered in the 1500 metres and 3,000m, while Farmer-Patrick is due to run the 400m hurdles. They contest the ruling by the IAAF, but if USA Track and Field, the governing body in America, denies them the right to compete they could go to court. If USATF allows Slaney or Farmer- Patrick to enter, the IAAF might threaten to suspend any athlete who competes against them.

"I have not yet made a decision," Slaney, who has been carrying an injury, said. "My leg's feeling better, but I'm not sure about that other stuff." Farmer-Patrick was more certain. "Most definitely, I will declare [for the meeting]," she said. "I hope they will allow me to compete." The meeting determines the US team for the World Championships in Athens in August.

The British shot putter Paul Edwards, banned and sent home from the 1994 Commonwealth Games after failing a drugs test, will find out on Friday whether he can return to international competition in preparation for the World Championships.

Edwards has always protested his innocence and is applying to the High Court to allow him to return 14 months early. Edwards is claiming it was illegal for him to be treated differently to German and French athletes who have been reinstated under their own national laws after just two years of initial four-year bans.

Liz McColgan is to attempt to break the British 10 mile record in this year's BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth on 5 October.