Athletics: IAAF attacked by Moorcroft

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The Independent Online
DAVID MOORCROFT has attacked the International Amateur Athletic Federation over their handling of the drugs allegations surrounding Linford Christie.

In a letter to Istvan Gyulai, the general secretary of the sport's governing body, the UK Athletics chief executive has expressed his dismay at what he says is a trial by media after last week's revelation that Christie allegedly had excessive amounts of the banned steroid nandrolone in his urine sample at an indoor meeting in Dortmund last February.

Moorcroft was shocked to learn that the head of the German laboratory which analysed Christie's sample had spoken to the press about his findings.

UK Athletics have known of the matter since 16 March but refused to make any public statement until an adverse finding was proven. Confirming Moorcroft had sent a strong letter to the IAAF, the UKA spokeswoman, Jayne Pearce, said he was upset by the public remarks made by Dr Wilhelm Schanzer at the International Olympic Committee-accredited Cologne laboratory.

"I am outraged that an accredited laboratory has chosen to speak to the media about a case that has not yet reached the stage of a disciplinary hearing," Moorcroft writes. "It is of equal concern that very senior officials within the arbitration panel and the medical committee have chosen to be quoted about this and other cases. These cases are rapidly becoming a trial by media, which is not only procedurally but also morally unacceptable to UK Athletics.

"UKA will continue to adhere very strictly to its procedures of only going public if and when an adverse finding involving a British athlete is found to be a positive case after the disciplinary hearing. I would again request that the IAAF also respect these procedures."

Cuban Javier Sotomayor still hopes to defend his high jump title at the World Championships this month, despite his positive test for cocaine at the Pan American Games.

But the IAAF said yesterday that it could ban Sotomayor from the championships in Seville if Cuban officials do not take any action by then.

Four more positive tests at the Games - all for nandrolone - were announced yesterday. Two Cuban weightlifters who were stripped of their gold medals - William Vargas, who won the 62kg title, and Rolando Delgado, who won the 69kg crown. The Mexican baseball players Roberto Vizcarra and Hector Alvarez also failed their tests.

If there are no more to come, the Games finished with seven positive tests - five of which cost individual or team gold medals.

Spanish marathon runner Julio Rey has been banned for two years after two positive drugs tests.

Swimmers banned, Digest, page 21