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Ohuruogu wins appeal against lifetime Olympic ban

27 November 2007

World 400-meter champion Christine Ohuruogu won her appeal Tuesday against a lifetime Olympic ban for missing doping tests.

The 23-year-old British runner was cleared to compete in next year’s Beijing Olympics after the ruling by a sports arbitration panel.

“I was very relieved when I heard the verdict and now I can move on,” Ohuruogu said. “I would love to compete for Britain at the Beijing Olympics if I am selected for the team.”

“The panel decided that Christine Ohuruogu’s appeal had been successful due to significant mitigating circumstances,” the BOA said in a statement.

Ohuruogu won the 400-meter world title in Japan on Aug. 29, weeks after completing a one-year ban imposed by UK Athletics for missing three out-of-competition drug tests between October 2005 and July 2006.

“I accept full responsibility for missing the tests,” she said Tuesday. “The rule was there and the punishment was there. But I can honestly say I am not a drugs cheat. I have been tested constantly this year and I have proved I am clean.”

Ohuruogu was the first British track athlete punished for missing three tests. She said she missed the testers when her training schedules were changed at late notice.

“The BOA will now be pleased to welcome Christine Ohuruogu as part of Team GB in Beijing next year in the event of her successful nomination by UK Athletics,” BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said.

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