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Ohuruogu faces delay over appeal

2 February 2007
bbc.co.uk

Commonwealth 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu will not now find out whether her appeal against a drugs ban has been successful until the end of the month.

The 22-year-old Briton received a 12-month suspension after missing three out-of-competition tests in 18 months.

She submitted an appeal back in October but a decision has been delayed after "additional information" was produced.

"There will be a delay as we consider this," said Matthieu Reeb, secretary for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"Parties involved in the arbitration procedure submitted new information to the panel members."

"Now it is expected there will be no announcement of the tribunal's findings - probably not until the end of the month."

Ohuruogu, a 2012 Olympic prospect, has had her funding and medical support withdrawn as a result of her suspension, which began in August last year.

Being classed as a drug cheat would see her banned from representing Great Britain at future Olympic Games.

UKA's disciplinary committee conceded Ohuruogu made an unintentional mistake due to forgetfulness, and stressed that she was not deliberately trying to beat the testing procedures.

Three-month ban

Ohuruogu's lawyers have argued that IAAF sentencing guidelines are notably tougher than other sports.

Britain's world triathlon champion Tim Don received only a three-month ban for the same offence under his sport's regulations.

IAAF and UK Athletics lawyers were also in attendance at the secret hearing.

Paula Radcliffe, one of the world's leading anti-doping campaigners, has already given her backing to Ohuruogu.

"If Christine lived in any other country, she would not be serving a 12-month ban and that is not fair," said Radcliffe.

"I think it is good that the rules are strictly applied in Britain but it cannot be different in other countries."

"I don't think for one minute she is guilty of doping."

Ohuruogu, who won the 400m gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, says she will quit athletics if her ban is upheld.



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