Slaney in Olympic drug probe

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Mary Slaney, the greatest middle distance runner in United States history, is reportedly under investigation following a drug test she took at the Olympic trials last year, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Slaney's attorney, Doriane Lambelet Coleman, told the New York Times that the governing body of American athletics, USA Track & Field, was dragging out the investigation, which is said to involve high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone which were detected in a urine sample taken from the 38-year-old former world champion last June.

"There is no question Mary is innocent," the attorney said. "She's been tested probably more than any other athlete. She's never tested positive. She's never taken testosterone or any other steroid. We feel the evidence is clear and that will be proven."

The newspaper quoted a USTAF official, without identifying him, as claiming it was Slaney's side that was attempting to "bottle up" the case in hearings.

The USTAF would neither confirm nor deny the reports yesterday. A spokesman said no comment was made on doping cases until they had been through the governing body's Doping Hearing Board, and then through the Doping Appeal Board.

Richard Slaney, Mary's husband, said she has been tested five or six times since the Olympic trials and none of those tests were positive.

"There is no positive drug test and there won't be one," he said.

Slaney is currently is competing on the outdoor circuit.