Athletics: Walker inquiry goes on
Tuesday 27 July 1999
Walker, who faces a two-year ban after a metabolite of the prohibited drug Nandrolone was found in a urine sample taken before Christmas, disclaims ever knowingly taking any banned substance. There have been suggestions from Walker's legal representative, Nick Bitel, that the adverse finding discovered following an out of competition test may have derived from a rogue element present in the protein compounds which the sprinter used to take.
More recently, however, scientific research from France has arisen which Bitel planned to use as part of his defence strategy. The findings by the French academic Dr Le Bizec claimed that metabolite of Nandrolone could be produced naturally by the body in raised quantities after strenuous exercise. Walker's adverse test was taken immediately after a tough training session.
Walker found out at the beginning of this month more precise details of the scientific evidence of his test. Speaking to Brendan Foster during BBC1's Athletics Focus programme, he said: "My level is slightly above the accepted level but it's the old testosterone argument again - some say you can have this level, some say you can't. We have to put enough doubt in the mind [of the panel] to show that metabolite comes from sources naturally produced in the body."
The new research was used successfully in May by the Swiss tri-athlete Oliver Bernherd, who was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne after testing positive from the same substance.
The three-man committee, headed by QC Ian Mill, could announce its verdict at the end of today's proceedings but is more likely to retire in order to consider its decision.
According to spokesperson Jayne Pearce, it is the responsibility of UK Athletics "to show beyond reasonable doubt that a prohibited substance had been found in the urine sample. The burden of proof isn't with us to show how it got there."
The case is being presented for UK Athletics by their own lawyer, Karena Vleck, in what is described as an "inquisitorial" rather than "adversarial" fashion. The other members of the disciplinary panel are Dr Mike Turner, the former England cross-country runner, and Professor Ron Maughan, who specialises in human physiology at the Department of Biomechanical Science at the University of Aberdeen.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...