Athletics: Modahl in sight of Seville place

THE DOOR to the World Championships is still open to Diane Modahl despite her withdrawal through illness from this weekend's trials, UK Athletics chief executive, David Moorcroft, insisted yesterday.

British athletics supremo Moorcroft, speaking after Modahl pulled out of the trials in Birmingham suffering from anaemia and stress, offered sympathy and hope for the 800 metre runner still battling to claim compensation after her four-year drugs ban.

"The first two people in the trials, provided they have a qualifying time, are guaranteed selection [for the World Championships in Seville]," said Moorcroft. "The selectors can then choose a third person, and the special thing for Diane is that she has a qualifying time - which not many others have. There is no reason why she cannot go."

Moorcroft added that he and the rest of the British athletics hierarchy will do all they can to assist Modahl as she attempts to reconcile her ongoing legal battle with the remainder of her career on the track.

He acknowledged the difficulty Modahl faces as she continues her case for pounds 480,000 compensation for the money she spent on legal costs to fight the ban imposed by the now defunct British Athletics Federation. "It is our job as the new federation to try to help her with her new career," Moorcroft said on Radio 4.

British sprint hurdler Tony Jarrett, is suffering from a recurring Achilles problem and has pulled out of this weekend's AAA nationals and World Championship Trials.

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