Athletics: Robb's test for Stuttgart

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DISCRETION was the better part of valour for two of Britain's brightest new athletes at the weekend as the World Championships loom this Saturday.

Curtis Robb, the 21-year-old Olympic 800 metres finalist who was last at the Zurich meeting on Wednesday, decided not to go ahead with his plan of testing his fitness with a 400m for his club, Liverpool Harriers, in the British League meeting at Reading.

Robb decided to have a further blood test following the viral infection which afflicted him earlier this season. He learns the results today, but he trained well enough at Wavertree yesterday morning. 'It was a decent session,' he said. 'I think I'll go to Stuttgart now.'

David Grindley, who returned after illness to run 44.50sec in Zurich, got as far as testing his blocks in Saturday's British League match at Bolton before deciding not to risk the Achilles tendon which had required an ice- pack after his midweek race.

He will receive treatment this week from the Wigan rugby league physiotherapist and plans to fly to Stuttgart on Wednesday.

John Regis needed no such precautions on Saturday as he finished third in the 200m in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in a race won by the new World Student Games champion, Daniel Effiong of Nigeria.

Regis, who finished a place ahead of a lacklustre Carl Lewis in 20.27sec, was contented with his form. 'In my mind I'm in great shape,' he said. 'I'm as fit as anyone else. At this stage it's a mental thing. If I go into the championships sure of myself I think there is no man that can beat me.'

While Regis has something to prove to himself in Stuttgart, Noureddine Morceli, who ran the second fastest 3,000m of all time - 7min 29.24sec - in Monte Carlo, appears less concerned.

He regards his participation in Stuttgart as no more than an 'open possibility'. His manager, Amar Brahmia, regards it as less than that. 'He will definitely not run,' he said.

Peter Gordon, Britain's No 2- ranked discus thrower, is to be banned for four years after failure to give a full sample of urine in a drugs test.

According to a Sunday newspaper report, Gordon will hear about the ban officially today following the incident at the UK championships in Birmingham two months ago. There is no suggestion that the sample contained drugs.

'It will cost me to fight this verdict but there is no way I'll accept that decision,' he said.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 25