ATHLETICS : Sponsors' snub for Modahl

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The Independent Online
Vicente Modahl admitted yesterday that adverse publicity following his wife Diane's drug case had made it impossible to put on a musical high jump competition in Liverpool. The city's council announced that, due to lack of sponsorship, the event w ould not go ahead on 21 February, but would be postponed to the first week in September.

In a statement, Modahl expressed his "deep disappointment", saying that the case involving his wife, and the "horrifying" guilty verdict returned by the British Athletic Federation's panel in December had "effectively ruined" his attempts to secure the necessary sponsorship.

The statement added that Steve Smith, Javier Sotomayor and Patrick Sjoberg, due to be the three leading protagonists, had pledged their support for the rescheduled event, and that Sky Sports, who had planned two hours of live action, would continue theirsupport until 1997.

Norman Wilkinson, the head of sport and recreation in Liverpool, said two sponsors had been secured, but the event - with a total cost of around £35,000 - still needed £25,000 to continue.

The city council still intend to work with Modahl on a mile race to be held along the waterfront.

Agyepong poised, page 38