BAF to vet Vicente Modahl

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The Independent Online
Vicente Modahl's position as a registered athletes' agent is likely to be discussed by the British Athletic Federation on 6 January in the light of the confirmed four-year doping ban on his wife, Diane, this week.

But members of the management board, who will receive a report on Modahl's recent hearing on that day, will reserve any judgment until the case is resolved.

Modahl has 21 days from the conclusion of this week's hearing to lodge her appeal with a three-strong panel which will be constituted by the BAF. Her defence, second time around, is likely to centre on two points - whether the sample was analysed correctly in the first instance, and whether documentation for the chain of custody was complete at the time of testing.

There was a feeling within BAF circles that the Modahls might ask for their hearing to be adjourned following the announcement that an invitation to attend had been ignored by representatives from the Lisbon laboratory which had detected abnormal testosterone levels in her urine sample.

The apparent lack of full documentation on the chain of custody - something to which Modahl's solicitor, Tony Morton-Hooper referred afterwards - might also have prompted an adjournment. But the request never came.

The Lisbon laboratory representatives, believed to have been offended by the tone of some media reports prior to the hearing, are no more obliged to attend an appeal than they were to be present at the hearing.

However, should Modahl's appeal fail and should she decide go on to the next stage of the International Amateur Athletic Federation's arbitration panel, a request for the Portuguese to be present in person is highly likely to be acted upon. The earliest any such arbitration could take place would be mid-March.