Modahl hearing imminent

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Diane Modahl, the 1990 Commonwealth 800 metres champion who was suspended for four years by the British Athletic Federation after testing positive for drugs at a 1994 meet in Lisbon, may be able to clear her name by the end of this month.

The Portuguese government yesterday rejected an International Amateur Athletic Federation request to review her urine samples, citing Monday's ruling by the National Anti-Doping Council that no third test would be carried out for technical, scientific and juridical reasons.

"This is the last stage before the arbitration hearing," the IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reinieri said. "The reason for the third test was to try to put more evidence before the arbitration panel for them to reach the right judgement. If there is no third test, the arbitration hearing will be held early, possibly before the end of January."

Two tests found Modahl had 42 times the legal amount of testosterone in her urine, but the runner claimed her samples were contaminated in Lisbon, having been kept out of refrigeration for 40 hours, and that the testing procedures were flawed.

She was cleared last July by a BAF appeals panel on the grounds that there could have been contamination through improper refrigeration procedures at the laboratory.