Modahl has to wait for appeal verdict

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Diane Modahl is likely to be told today of the outcome of her appeal against a four-year drugs ban. A three-strong panel chaired by Robert Reid QC concluded its two-day hearing at the Euston Plaza Hotel yesterday, but is still deliberating over the verdict.

"We have not reached a decision yet," Reid said last night, after spending two hours conferring with his fellow panellists. "We are still in the process. I would like to think we could reach it by tomorrow, but there will still be Friday set aside."

Their deliberations contrast with those of the original hearing, which found Modahl guilty in December - the five members then took just one hour to make their decision after hearing the evidence.

The former Commonwealth 800 metres champion, who is expecting a baby in October, put on a brave face as she left the hotel yesterday with her husband, Vicente, and Tony Morton-Hooper, her solicitor, but appeared close to tears.

The hearing heard new evidence on behalf of Modahl from Professor Simon Gaskill concerning the alleged "degradation" of the urine sample which she gave at a meeting in Portugal last June - a key area of inquiry at the December hearing.

If Modahl's appeal fails, she has said that she will take her case to the civil courts. If it succeeds, the International Amateur Athletic Federation can refer the case to arbitration.