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Campbell row clouds GB relay gold

13 August 2006
bbc.co.uk

Darren Campbell refused to join his team-mates on a lap of honour after Britain's 4x100m victory at the European Championships.

An emotional Campbell said "certain accusations" had been thrown at him, but would not say what they were or from where they emanated.

The veteran sprinter told BBC Sport: "I've made my situation clear. I just can't take the rubbish any more."

"I'm not a hypocrite. How can I do a lap of honour?"

The Manchester athlete added that he was disappointed to have "certain accusations thrown at me because I take part in a team that I have no control (over)".

Pressed on what the accusations were and who had made them, Campbell said: "Read the papers. I've made my situation clear."

"If everyone else wants to blow a little smoke over it, that's up to them. Hopefully everyone's happy now - they've got their gold."

Asked if he was going to retire, Campbell, 32, said: "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I've done what I always do and run for Great Britain."

Campbell's team-mates hinted that they knew what his gripe was, but were not prepared to divulge.

"He had his reasons for going off, but I can't vouch for him," said Dwain Chambers, who ran the first leg.

"He's obviously hurting, but he'll give his opinions at his given time."

And Mark Lewis-Francis, who brought the team home, denied there was any discordance in the British camp.

"That's nowhere near the truth," said Lewis-Francis. "We've bonded together and I don't know where the negativity's come from."

BBC pundit and double world-record holder Michael Johnson said he was not surprised at Campbell's outburst and urged the British public not to let it overshadow the rest of the team's achievement.

"I think that's what Darren wants," said Johnson. "Here we go again - I'm not shocked, I'm not surprised, but I'm disappointed."

"The fact that Darren came over to get an interview while everyone else is taking a victory lap means he wants to be the one guy by himself."

"If he feels really strongly about something, let's not hear about 'certain accusations', let's hear about who it is."

"Because people at home are wondering what's going on and wanting to know what the problem is. Obviously there is one."



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