Tietz joins long list of nandrolone test case victims

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Michael Tietz, the 100-metre sprinter who runs for Birchfield Harriers, has become the latest British athlete to test positive for the banned substance nandrolone.

The 22-year-old, who trains at Bath University, finished seventh at the 1999 AAA Championship and has represented Great Britain at Under-23 level.

UK Athletics yesterday confirmed that a recent test confirmed the findings of a positive sample taken from Tietz in December, which showed traces of 19-Norandrosterone, a metabolite of the steroid nandrolone. A drug advisory committee will meet in the near future to review whether a doping offence may have taken place but, in the meantime, UK Athletics says that Tietz, who requested that his findings be publicised, will not be suspended.

Earlier this week the International Amateur Athletic Federation, in conjunction with UK Athletics, set up a research project to investigate the role of food supplements and herbal preparations in doping.

British athletics' governing body says it hopes this project will "help to increase our understanding of the current issues surrounding nandrolone and its metabolites".

The former Olympic champion Linford Christie, the Scottish sprinter Dougie Walker, the hurdler Gary Cadogan and the 400m runner Mark Richardson have all tested positive for nandrolone over the past 14 months. Christie, Walker and Cadogan have been cleared by UK Athletics but will see their cases go before an IAAF arbitration panel next month, while Richardson has been suspended from competition by UK Athletics after his case went before a drug advisory committee.

Sonia O'Sullivan, the winner of the World Cross-country Championships long and short event gold medals two years ago, was keeping her options open yesterday about which distances to contest in this weekend's championships in Vilamoura, Portugal.

In 1998 she stunned her opponents when completing what many considered an impossible double, taking first the 8km gold medal followed by the 4km less than 24 hours later.

Yesterday O'Sullivan said: "I've not yet made up my mind. I'll wait until I get to Vilamoura, have a look at the course and see how I feel. I'm not tired from the trip back from Australia last Friday and I'm as fit as I can be."