Sporting Digest: ATHLETICS

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The Independent Online
Pope John Paul II will start off Rome's millennium marathon in St. Peter's Square on 1 January - after bestowing a traditional blessing. The winning athletes will receive a special prize in memory of the late president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, Primo Nebiolo, who died on 7 November.

Paul Henderson, the Australian Olympic sprinter who tested positive for steroids, has been ordered to face a drugs tribunal after his appeal to have the case dropped was rejected. Henderson faces a ban of up to two years if he is found guilty, ruling him out of the Sydney Olympics next September.