Athletics: Livingston's appeal is thrown out

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The Independent Online
JASON LIVINGSTON'S appeal against his drugs ban was rejected last night - but only by a majority decision.

An independent three-man appeal panel of the British Athletic Federation dismissed the sprinter's appeal against his four-year suspension but was split 2-1 in its verdict.

While the chairman Robert Reid QC and the BAF representative, David Littlewood, voted to uphold the original four-year ban, the former Olympic 800 metres medallist, Derek Johnson, disagreed with their verdict.

The decision was enough for the BAF to rule that the 22-year- old Croydon sprinter, who was found positive in an out-of-competition test just before the Olympics, remains banned until 1996. But, describing the verdict as 'perverse', Livingston vowed to fight on to clear his name as his solicitors pondered whether they might take his case to court.

Though none of the hearing details was revealed by the BAF, it is believed that the AAA of England secretary, Johnson, had been impressed by the evidence delivered by the sprinter and his camp in Friday's day-long hearing in London.

A statement from Livingston's solicitor, Nicholas Bitel, said: 'Jason Livingston is naturally extremely disappointed by the majority decision.

'He continues to deny, despite erroneous press reports to the contrary, that he has ever taken any banned substance, knowingly or otherwise.

'He will continue to fight to establish his innocence. He is amazed by the panel's decision as the case presented to the panel was so strongly in favour of the appeal succeeding and he feels the decision was perverse.'