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.

n

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee