Christine gets clearance for Beijing Olympics

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London, Nov 27: World 400-meter champion Christine Ohuruogu won her appeal on 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.

Ohuruogu overturned a British Olympic Association rule which automatically bans any athlete found guilty of a doping violation from competing in any future Olympics.

She argued her case at a 3 1/2-hour hearing in London on Monday.

"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 Osaka, Japan, on August 29, just 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.

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.

Clegg defended the procedures which led to the ban being imposed in the first place.

"The BOA and the panel both stress that no-advance notice out-of-competition testing is a fundamental part of ensuring an effective fight against doping in sport," he said.

"Athletes must be fully aware of their obligations to keep their whereabouts information up to date at all times and must ensure that they are available for testing at the designated times and places," he added.

Ohuruogu is the latest athlete to successfully appeal against the BOA rule.

Former world triathlon champion Tim Don and judo athlete Peter Cousins, who both served three-month suspensions for missing drug tests, are among those who have overturned lifetime Olympic bans.


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