Athletics: Ohuruogu on fast track in appeal over drug ban

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The Independent Online

Christine Ohuruogu could learn her fate as an Olympic competitor as early as today after the decision-making process involved in her appeal against a life ban by the British Olympic Association was speeded up.

It is understood that the Sports Dispute Resolution panel, which normally announces its results within a fortnight of hearings, has been urged to turn the case around swiftly because of the public interest in an athlete who became the world 400 metres champion this summer within a month of completing a one-year ban for missing three drug tests.

The 23-year-old world champion from Stratford, east London, put her case yesterday at a three-and-a-half-hour hearing in Ely Place Chambers, London. Her barrister, Michael Beloff QC, said: "I'm quietly optimistic".

The panel was chaired by Nicholas Stewart QC, who also undertook that role in the decisions which allowed the world triathlon champion, Tim Don, and judo player Peter Cousins back into the Olympic fold after suspensions.