Athletics: Norman hearing goes ahead: Promotions officer must today face disciplinary proceedings

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The Independent Online
THE long-awaited disciplinary hearing against Andy Norman, the British Athletic Federation's promotions officer, will be held in London today in attempted secrecy. The decision is likely to be announced early next week.

The hearing, which has previously been postponed because Norman has said he was too unwell to attend, will be conducted by Peter Radford, the BAF executive chairman, and his independent legal assessor, David Pannick, QC.

Radford is investigating the general conduct of Norman, a central figure in British athletics for the last 20 years. Allegations that Norman had verbally intimidated the coach and athletics writer, Cliff Temple, who was found dead beside a railway line in January, will form part of the consideration.

Norman is alleged to have accused Temple of sexually harassing an athlete he coached - a charge for which no evidence has been found. An inquest into Temple's death takes place at Folkestone next month.

Radford changed today's venue at least once in the previous 24 hours in an effort to deter attention. Norman is due to be present with his solicitors, as are witnesses including three athletics writers. 'We have been given strong legal advice that we should say nothing about the hearing,' Tony Ward, the BAF spokesman, said.

Temple's club, Folkestone AC, has led a call for Norman to be dismissed and the British Athletics Writers' Association have also demanded that he go. Earlier this month Thurrock Harriers, of which Norman is a vice president, circulated a letter supporting him.

Liz McColgan is preparing for her first race in over a year after recovering from a succession of injuries to her back, hamstring and knee. The 29-year-old Scot, recently returned from training in Florida, will run against Yvonne Murray in an international road race in Aberdeen on 22 May.