Jackson may lift domestic boycott

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The Independent Online


Colin Jackson hinted yesterday that he might relent in his determination to boycott all British Athletic Federation events other than the Olympic trials this season.

The world 110 metres hurdles record holder said he was ready to discuss his position with members of the BAF promotions unit when he returns from a racing trip to South Africa next week.

However, he refused to countenance the idea of talking to the BAF executive chairman, Peter Radford, whose reprimand after he had raced in Italy a day after pulling out of last season's AAA Championships with injury prompted Jackson's original decision to do his racing abroad.

Since then Jackson has trained and raced extensively in Australia, and he believes the break has done him good. "Things look more promising," he said. "I've calmed down a lot in myself. I realise that the BAF promotions unit work hard and that I am one of the athletes they want to promote. I'm ready to see what they want to do and whether I feel I am ready to act on it.

"If they can understand the problems I went through last year that is the key thing for me. It certainly won't be down to money if I don't run. I realise that a lot of people would like to see me run. My mum and my Nan have been on at me about it as well since I got back."

But Jackson's feelings about the dispute with his home federation still run deep. "What happened last year left me very disappointed. I've always been the good boy of athletics, if you like. I am just the same person I was in 1988, but when someone walks into the Federation and walks all over you... I had many other things on my mind at the time, I was injured and I wasn't well, and it all came to a head."

Asked if he would meet Radford now to discuss the situation, his response was vehement: "Hell, no. No way. We'd better bypass this now because I'm getting vengeance in my heart again."

Jackson, who is due to race in Cape Town on Friday and Johannesburg on Sunday, also plans to race in Beirut at the beginning of May. If he does call off the boycott, he will still miss the London grand prix because he will have left for the Olympics, but would be available for post-Atlanta appearances in London and Gateshead.