Christie admits double injury

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The Independent Online
Linford Christie said yesterday that he had a cartilage injury as well as a torn hamstring and would miss the rest of the World Championships and next Wednesday's Zurich grand prix.

Christie, who scuffled with a photographer at Zurich airport on Thursday night before flying back to Gothenburg after medical treatment, described his injury as worse than he first thought.

"We didn't think there was a tear in the hamstring, but as soon as the doctor in Zurich looked at the X-ray he saw it," Christie said. "I also have a cartilage problem and it is going to be a case of slow rehabilitation.

"The hamstring problem occurred because I tried to come back too soon. I tried to rush things because the World Championships are so important. I don't really want to run again until I am fully fit, so it looks as if Zurich will be out. I will take my time." Christie ruled out having a quick operation - "I arrived in Gothenburg with a cartilage, and I will be leaving it." The problem was first revealed by his friend Colin Jackson on Sunday night, after Christie had failed to retain his 100 metres title. "That is what worries me more," Jackson said at the time.

Christie complained yesterday about the treatment he has received from sections of the British media who he claimed had harrassed his family. "I have had to put up with a lot of crap in the weeks leading up to the Championships," he said.

"Maybe now I am no longer the world champion there will be fewer lies written about me. Maybe people back home will appreciate what they had a little bit more. You never miss what you have got until it's gone."

Tony Ward, the British Athletic Federation's press officer, confirmed that Christie had been involved in "a minor scuffle" with a Reuters photographer in Zurich. Upon his arrival in Gothenburg, Christie said that reports of his scuffle "did not ring any bells." He added: "You've heard about Chinese whispers. The more they go around, the longer they get."

Jackson, meanwhile, ruled out of defending his world 110m hurdles title in Gothenburg with a thigh problem, is to return to competitive action at Gateshead on 21 August when Britain take on the United States in the BUPA Challenge.

In the meantime, Britain is preparing to bid for the World Championships of 2001. Peter Radford, the BAF executive chairman, has had preliminary discussions with the International Amateur Athletic Federation and no major problems with the bid are envisaged.

A formal bid to the IAAF is likely to be made by Britain when the location of the new national stadium, courtesy of National Lottery money, is known - probably in October.

n Irina Privalova has pulled out of the Russian women's 4x100 metres relay squad because of a leg muscle injury. The double European champion said yesterday that she had strained a leg muscle in Thursday's 200m final, where she won the silver medal. Privalova said she was also likely to miss next week's Golden Four meeting in Zurich, the richest event on the circuit.

n All 129 doping tests carried out on athletes in the first five days of the World Championships have been negative, the International Amateur Athletic Federation said yesterday.