Athletics: Norman too 'unwell' to face investigation: Medical certificate halts proceedings

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DISCIPLINARY proceedings against Andy Norman, the British athletics promotions officer, have been halted because he is 'unwell'.

The British Athletic Federation announced yesterday that its investigation into Norman's conduct was on hold until he was fit enough to attend a hearing - but would not specify what was wrong with him.

Last week, a newspaper report suggested that Norman was on the verge of a nervous breakdown following allegations that his threats contributed to the suicide on 8 January of Cliff Temple, the Sunday Times athletics correspondent.

The BAF - which has sought only to ascertain whether Norman's actions have been 'fitting' to his pounds 65,000-a-year post - announced the beginning of disciplinary proceedings at the start of February and hoped to have a formal hearing with Norman and his solicitors at the end of February or early March.

But Norman has provided the BAF with a medical certificate confirming that he is unwell - and his solicitors say he is not yet fit enough to attend any hearing.

Friends of Norman have been quoted anonymously attesting to the fact that he is depressed. 'He has lost a lot of weight and there is no life in him,' said one. 'I think he's had enough.'

This information will come as a surprise to many in the sport who have hitherto regarded the former Metropolitan Police sergeant as one of the most robust operators around.

A statement from the BAF said: 'Mr Norman has provided the federation with a medical certificate which confirms he is unwell and his solicitors have advised the federation that he is not fit to attend a hearing at this stage.'

Tony Ward, the BAF spokesman, added: 'The whole thing is on hold until such time when Mr Norman is well enough to attend the formal hearing. The federation cannot reveal anything about Mr Norman's medical condition.'