Athletics: Livingston returning to top level

Jason Livingston, whose four-year ban for drug abuse ended last July, took some rapid steps towards rehabilitating his competitive career this weekend at Birmingham's New Year Games.

The 25-year-old former European indoor champion recorded a time of 6.66sec in defeating a 60 metres field which included the world 110m hurdles record holder, Colin Jackson. That kind of performance so early in the season gives Livingston, who won indoor European gold in 1992, reason to be confident that he can make the team for the world indoor championships in Paris at the beginning of March.

His narrow win over Jackson, who was himself European indoor 60m champion in 1994, was greeted with virtual silence by the two hundred or so spectators at the national indoor arena. Clearly, Livingston has work to do off the track as well as on it. But with Linford Christie's career coming to an end, the man who was seen four years ago as his successor has the opportunity to re-establish himself.

"These are exciting times in the sport, with IAAF money and National Lottery cash about to come through," said Livingston, who maintains that he was innocent of the charges laid against him five years ago. "I hope to produce the goods and get a share of it. Athletics was my whole life in 1992. Now I have two kids and my family comes first.

"But I'm not setting any specific targets. It will be hard making the team. I'm just glad to be racing again. I've watched enough athletics on the box."

During his time in the wilderness, Livingston, who was sent home from the 1992 Olympics after it was announced he had tested positive for the banned steroid methandianone, has tried his luck at rugby league, American Football and football before taking up his present job as a debt collector. "I've had so many dark times," he said. "Soul searching and depression which almost saw me go off my head... but I believe I can run faster than ever." Livingston's 60m best of 6.51sec was a European record - run in 1992, the year when he won his European 60m title.

"Jason has served his time and that's it," Malcolm Arnold, Britain's chief coach, said. "Anyone away from the sport for a long time loses some of their edge, but Jason does not appear to have lost too much." Jackson said: "He probably needs to find another two metres. He has paid the penalty, but unfortunately everyone will remember him for that rather than for his performances on the track."

Jackson, who is still world record holder for the 110m hurdles despite seeing Allen Johnson, of the United States, take the world and Olympic titles in the last two years, is also on a mission to recapture his best form. Free of the knee injury which hampered him last season, he had returned from training with Christie in Australia and looked in good shape as he finished second in 6.72.

Doug Turner ran a Welsh indoor record of 20.83sec and the 400m specialist Mark Hylton clocked a personal best 21.04 when winning 200m races on the second day of the Games.

Paula Radcliffe, recently recovered from a knee injury, took fifth place at Saturday's Coca-cola international cross-country in Belfast behind the winner, Elana Fidatov of Romania.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recruitment Consultant - IT

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...

IT Technician (1st/2nd line support) - Leatherhead, Surrey

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Technician (1st/2nd line support)...

Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...

C# .NET Developer

£290 - £291 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Manchester C#.NET ...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform