Athletics: Black and Gunnell help to fight crisis

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The Independent Online
Roger Black and Sally Gunnell are backing British athletics' attempt to forge a future that has some measure of hope. The British team captains were named yesterday as the athletes' representatives on the steering group launched to find a long-term structure for the sport.

Both face the prospect of not being paid for 1997 following the crisis that saw the British Athletic Federation go into administration in October.

"I see this as a real turning point for our sport and a moment we will eventually look back on as a positive one," Black said.

"I thought very carefully before accepting the task of being part of the steering group as my own career is at a crossroads in many respects," said Gunnell, who retired in the summer but will stay on as women's captain until next summer. "I decided to accept because I felt it is important to try and give back something to the sport."

The duo will be part of the steering group that will oversee the consultation process being undertaken by UK Athletics '98, the streamlined body that has replaced BAF to run the sport.

The steering group, being chaired by Sir Chris Chataway, will meet every six weeks and include regional representatives.