Athletics: Wariso was told to run

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The Independent Online
SOLOMON WARISO, sent home from the European Championships after testing positive for a banned stimulant, said yesterday that he was told by a British Athletic Federation official to compete in Helsinki even though the result of his test was known.

'I spoke to a guy on the phone and he said to me, 'Well, you can go out there and run.' It was a team official,' he said.

Strictly speaking, Wariso - who was answering questions in last night's Carlton TV programme, Sport In Question - was allowed to compete. Until the finding was confirmed by a further test on the B sample he was technically innocent of any offence.

It is, however, disturbing to think that a BAF official could have offered such advice, particularly in the light of the strong line taken by the BAF chief executive, Peter Radford, in announcing Wariso's withdrawal from the team after he had arrived in Finland.

'He was told by a senior official of BAF to come out there and run,' said Roger Lynch, an assistant manager at Wariso's club, Haringey. 'He did question if it was the right thing to do and he was told, 'Don't worry. Come out there and run.' There are only a few people who can tell you to do that type of thing . . .'

The sprinter recounted how he had been given the tablets by a fellow British athlete who was a close friend while competing for Haringey in the European Clubs Championship at Malaga in May.