Marathon man Brown turns back on GB for Canada

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The Independent Online

Jon Brown, whose outstanding performances in finishing fourth in the last two Olympic marathons have never earned the praise they deserve, will no longer run for Britain.

The 36-year-old, who lost his National Lottery funding on the World Class Performance programme, will now run for Canada, where he has lived for more than a decade.

"I will no longer be representing Great Britain in athletic competition; instead I will now be running for Canada," said Brown, who is also the British 10,000 metres record holder and a former winner of the European Cross-Country Championships, yesterday. "This decision for me has been long overdue, and has renewed my enthusiasm for the sport, which had been waning recently."

Born in Bridgend, Brown moved to Vancouver in 1996 and gained dual nationality in 2005. Injuries resulted in him missing that year's World Championships and last summer's European Championships, and he was again an absentee from this year's World Championships in Osaka.

His recent performances, and his age, have been the key factors in the UK Athletics recommendation that he should be dropped from its list of World Class supported athletes. "Jon Brown has been a great servant to British athletics," a UK Athletics spokesman said. "But we need to focus our resources on those athletes who have the potential to reach the podium or top-eight success."

There may also have been a small sigh of relief, given Brown's outspokenness. He has often made accusations about rivals cheating, claiming on the eve of the 1998 London Marathon they were using the banned blood-booster EPO. In 2004 he complained about not being paid to run in the event despite being the top Briton.