Athletics: Ceplak stands in way of Mutola's million dollars

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The Independent Online

Maria Mutola's million dollar moment-of-truth arrives tonight at the Ivo Van Damme meeting in Brussels, where victory in the 800 metres would make her the first athlete to take the entire cash bonus of $1m (£637,000) put up for those remaining unbeaten during all six races in the Golden League sequence.

Mutola, who retained her world title last week, will face a strong field including the Briton she beat into silver medal position in Paris - her training partner Kelly Holmes - and Turkey's Sureyya Ayhan, the world leader this season in the 1500m.

Also included are Britain's Jo Fenn, making a good recovery from a shin injury, and the world indoor record holder Jolanda Ceplak. The Slovenian was forced to pull out of the World Championships 800m with an injury, but returned in time to earn a place in the 1500m final, and if her recovery has continued she could pose a threat to the Mozambique athlete.

Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie will attempt to break his own world 10,000m record tonight. Gebrselassie's young compatriot, Kenenisa Bekele, who succeeded him as world champion last week, is not running, so the Olympic champion's main target is his own time of 26min 22.75sec, set in Hengelo five years ago.

In the 100m, Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis take on a field that includes the American who beat Lewis-Francis to the world indoor title on his home patch in Birmingham earlier this year, Justin Gatlin. In the women's 100m there will be a re-run of the World Championships final as Kelli White, who won in Paris, takes on the silver medallist Torri Edwards and the bronze medallist Zhanna Block.

White, who tested positive for a substance related to a banned stimulant in Paris, learned this week that the International Association of Athletics Associations did not consider her actions warranted any ban, just a warning. She nevertheless stands to lose the 100m and 200m gold medals she secured in Paris.

The American world 400m champion Jerome Young, has learned that a four-member panel has been set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee to investigate allegations that he was allowed to run in the Olympic 400m relay a year after being cleared of taking nandrolone by an internal US appeal.

* The Kenya national track coach Mike Kosgei was fired yesterday after it was revealed that 1500m runner Bernard Lagat had tested positive for drugs and was pulled out of the World Championships in Paris. Kenya's athletics body has also appointed Kip Keino to head a team to probe why doping cases are on the rise.