Coe recalls Christie to fold with 'mentor' role in build-up to 2012

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The Independent Online

Linford Christie, conspicuously absent from involvement in Britain's quest for the 2012 Olympics, has been recalled to the fold. The former Olympic 100m champion, who tested positive for nandrolone after he had retired from top-class competition and has since had a public row with the man who headed the bid to earn the 2012 Games, Seb Coe, was named yesterday by UK Athletics as one of four mentors for the build-up to London.

The others are double Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson, double Olympic javelin silver medallist Steve Backley, and Katharine Merry, Olympic 400m bronze medallist.

"These four each have much to offer the sport and they have the instant respect of our senior and junior athletes," said Dave Collins, performance director for UK Athletics.

Backley and Christie will start their new posts by travelling to Gothenburg where the European Championships begin on Monday.

Meanwhile, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Britain's World 100m and 200m Youth champion, has severed ties with Justin Gatlin - the Olympic 100m champion who has tested positive for testosterone - and his coach Trevor Graham.

The 17-year-old Carshalton schoolboy spent a week training with Graham's group earlier this year, but his coach, Matt Favier, said the links would not be maintained. "It's not an environment we want our athlete to be a part of," Favier said.

More than half a dozen athletes coached or previously coached by Graham, including disgraced former 100m world record-holder Tim Montgomery, have been suspended for doping.

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