Hockey: Lee gives Garcia opportunity to stake claim for Olympics

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The Independent Online

Britain's youngest gold medallist from the 1998 Seoul Olympics, the hockey player Russell Garcia, has been given a chance to fight for a place in this summer's Athens Olympics with a call-up for assessment at the Great Britain training camp at Havant at the end of January.

The 33-year-old player-coach of the German club Gross Flottbeker was banned for three months at the end of 1999 after testing positive for cocaine at a routine out-of-competition test.

Garcia subsequently won an appeal against a lifetime ban imposed by the British Olympic Committee. He then returned to training with the GB squad in preparation for the Sydney Games but withdrew before the final selection was made.

Garcia could easily force his way into the squad for the August games. The chief coach of the GB squad, Jason Lee, knows what this most experienced and talented player can offer. "There is already a great deal of ability within the squad, although I am prepared to investigate every option, hence my inclusion of Jonty Clarke, Rob Moore and Russell Garcia, all of whom have been monitored over the last four months," Lee said.

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