Winning return for Modahl

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The Independent Online
Athletics

Diane Modahl completed her first competitive race last night since being sent home 18 months ago from the Commonwealth Games for an alleged doping offence, writes Mike Rowbottom. Modahl, who had confirmed earlier in the day that she is to sue the British Athletic Federation for compensation over her fight to clear her name, took part in a four-mile road race around the Derby County football ground, winning in 22min 56sec.

"It was a milestone for her," said her husband and coach Vicente. "We made the decision to race at short notice and the people there were amazed to see her. But she got incredible support from all the runners and she felt very strengthened by that. The fact that she was able to put on a start number - number four - felt very significant, although she will definitely not be running on the track before May."

Modahl, who has spent pounds 100,000 on her defence, is seeking damages from BAF, which says it will contest the case "vigorously". She appealed unsuccessfully to BAF to pay her costs after it cleared her name last July, having initially banned her for four years for testosterone abuse.

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