Olympic Games: Briton avoids suspension after positive drug test

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The Independent Online

A female British international athlete has avoided a ban following a positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone after claiming there was a medical reason for the finding.

The un-named athlete, whose test sometime between April and the end of last month showed metabolites of nandrolone, had her reason accepted by both UK Athletics (UKA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Britain's anti-doping body, UK Sport, which released the information yesterday, has investigated the decision and condoned the action taken.

A UK Sport statement said: "The explanation and the analytical data has been reviewed in accordance with UKA procedures and has also been reviewed by the IAAF. The athlete's explanation explains the finding. No further action is to be taken."

Meanwhile a handful of British athletes hoping to make the second wave of selections for the Olympics are waiting upon today's squad announcement, and no one will feel more anxious than Commonwealth long jump champion Nathan Morgan, who may miss out on a trip to Athens even though he has beaten the Olympic A-standard qualifying mark of 8.19 metres and his rival Chris Tomlinson has not.

In order to pick Tomlinson, who won the European Cup title last month with a distance of 8.28m that, unfortunately for him, was wind-assisted, the selectors would be restricting themselves to one person in the event. Had Tomlinson managed to gain the A standard in Madrid on Saturday, the selectors could have picked up to three competitors, but he could jump only 7.99m.

Morgan, who had an operation at the start of the season, was beaten into third place in the trials, where Tomlinson was victorious. But he has subsequently jumped 8.04m in Crete, and managed 7.98 in chilly conditions at Loughborough on Saturday.

Also taking part in the Loughborough meeting was Britain's newly-passported Californian, Malachi Davis, and his unexceptional time of 46.30sec, and his defeat by Welsh Commonwealth 400m hurdles silver medallist Matt Elias, may see him fail to earn the third individual 400m place in the team even though he has an A-qualifying mark of 45.55sec from earlier this season. Given the strength in depth of British one-lap running,with former champions Du'Aine Ladejo and Iwan Thomas running back into reasonable form, the selectors may decide they can do without the pleasantly spoken 26-year-old from Sacramento.

Both performed well in Madrid, with Thomas beating Sean Baldock, the man who finished third in the trial race. Jared Deacon, a consistent 4x400m performer, is also knocking on the door. "We have a lot of apples and pears to play with," said UK Athletics performance director Max Jones.

It seems certain the British Olympic Association will rubber-stamp the selection of Dean Macey who easily achieved the Olympic B-qualifying standard of 7,700 points at a weekend meeting in Hexham. Ricky Soos, 21, also has a strong case for being sole selection at 800m on a B-standard after winning a race in Finland in 1:46.09sec.