Inside Lines: Christie comes in from the cold after Olympic ban is scrapped

 

The sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar are not the biggest names to benefit from last week's ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the British Olympic Association's lifetime exclusion from the Games is unenforceable.

Linford Christie, who has been subject to the same ban as a coach since failing a drugs test in his athletic dotage 13 years ago, is now eligible to return to assist both his own athletes and Team GB in the Olympic arena this summer. UK Athletics can now apply to accredit him to their coaching team, and there will be pressure from many athletes for them to do so.

For while the return of the 1992 Barcelona 100 metres gold medallist may not be welcomed by the BOA – or Lord Coe, with whom Christie has had a long-running feud – it will be by those who believe Britain's most-medalled athlete has become among the best coaches, despite previously being kept outside the Olympic circles.

Christie, 52, has always disputed the finding of the performance drug nandrolone after a meet in Germany in 1999. He was given a two-year ban despite UK Athletics feeling there was "doubt whether the drug had been taken deliberately". He was also subject to the now abandoned BOA lifetime ban from Olympic participation both as an athlete and a coach.

Christie now coaches 10 talented young athletes alongside the Olympic sprint relay gold medalist Mark Lewis-Francis, who is a rival to Chambers for a 2012 berth, at the Linford Christie Stadium in west London. He also runs his own sports management company Nuff Respect.

Wrestling heads for a fall

British Wrestling's import of Plastic Brits from eastern Europe will be called into question at a meeting with the British Olympic Association this week.

This follows one of the "GB" medal hopes, 29-year-old Ukrainian-born Miroslav Dykun, initially failing a dope test, which has embarrassed both the BOA, who must endorse Olympic selection and UK Sport, who have funded the so-called "mercenaries".

The sports minister, Hugh Robertson, has also expressed his concern at the furore over the male and female Bulgarian and Ukrainian wrestlers brought here by the governing body who have married British counterparts, enabling them to apply for UK citizenship. The BOA will seek a long-overdue explanation from British Wrestling's chief executive, Colin Nicholson, about a questionable policy which has led to controversy.

With the home secretary, Teresa May, believed to be set to deny at least two of the passport applications it may be that British Wrestling will have to rely mainly on home-grown talent if they are to have a team at 2012. And why not?

Minister's labour of love

Boris Johnson is still in the London mayoral seat and in his victory speech the first thing he mentioned was the importance of the London Olympics. As we were saying here last week, at least hopefully he will bring a touch of levity to an event that seems in danger of being suffocated by security overkill and a win-at-all costs mentality among some of those preparing British competitors.

Robertson informs us that following our report of the ex-Labour sports minister Richard Caborn, who helped London get the Games, being without a formal role he has arranged for both him and his predecessor Gerry Sutcliffe to help look after the huge number of sports ministers here from overseas during the Games. Both the sports minister and Lord Coe say the currently ticketless Ken Livingstone's contribution to the Games will be "suitably recognised" despite his defeat.

"We have genuinely tried to deliver these Games on a cross-party basis," says Robertson. So presumably Tory Boris will ensure that another former Labour sports minister, Kate Hoey, whom he is expected to re-engage as his sports guru, also gets a seat at the show.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own