Athletics: Mitchell renews rivalry with Christie: American challenge to Olympic champion in the 100 metres is strengthened

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The Independent Online
LINFORD CHRISTIE'S task in securing a World Championship gold medal to go with his Olympic hardware became a slightly more difficult proposition yesterday when the American, Dennis Mitchell, announced he will run the 100 metres in Stuttgart.

The 27-year-old from North Carolina, who finished third behind Christie in Barcelona and pipped him for the bronze at the last World Championships, in Tokyo two years ago, was doubtful of running in Stuttgart because of a hamstring strain, but ran a respectable 10.22 in Malmo on Monday.

At least that means that Christie will not face the US stand-by, John Drummond, who threatened to upstage both Christie and Carl Lewis in the two recent showdowns in Gateshead and Stuttgart. Mitchell will be one-third of a formidable American line-up in the 100m, joining Lewis and Andre Cason.

A Briton who will not be going to Stuttgart is Dave Lewis, who has withdrawn from the marathon with a knee injury.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation, holding its congress in Stuttgart, took a step towards over-the-counter professionalism, voting to do away with the system of trust funds, clearing the way for athletes to be paid directly.

A more controversial ruling was the vote by 138 votes to 42 to move the IAAF headquarters from London to Monte Carlo, despite the opposition of Britain, the United States and other anglophone nations.

There is more to the issue than mere accomodation. Primo Nebiolo, the IAAF president, was in favour of relocating while Ollan Cassell, executive director of USA Track and Field and Nebiolo's principal rival in IAAF politics, was strongly opposed. 'There wasn't even a written report,' he said after. 'This is just one man's will.'

In the wake of the Butch Reynolds saga, the congress ruled that athletes who compete while under suspension, as Reynolds did last year before the Olympics, will have to re-start their ban from the day they broke it.

One unresolved matter was the Katrin Krabbe affair, the IAAF Council putting off any discussion on the German's fight against her suspension for drug use. Her federation was hoping to clarify her status, but the IAAF is not planning to take up any individual cases in Stuttgart.

Luciano Zerbini, the Italian discus champion who was due to compete in Stuttgart, has tested positive for steroids.

Jackson's mental hurdle, page 33