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|August 28, 2000||
Christie invited to Gold Coast campMitch Phillips
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has invited Linford Christie to coach his athletes at the team's Gold Coast headquarters but said on Sunday the banned former Olympic champion would not be allowed to stay in the camp.
Christie had his Olympic coach's accreditation withdrawn on Friday at his own request following last week's decision by the International Amateur Athletic Federation to ban him for two years for testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.
Christie said he had taken the decision to prevent his athletes suffering from the "media circus" which is likely to surround his presence in Sydney.
Christie coaches European 100 metres champion Darren Campbell and 400 metres runners Jamie Baulch and Katherine Merry but said his own former coach Ron Roddan would take care of the athletes in Sydney.
Now, however, the 1992 Olympic 100 metres champion has been offered the chance to work with the trio in their build-up in Queensland.
"It's something that we thought about a great deal and discussed a lot," BOA spokesman Matt Crawcour said.
"He won't be staying at the team hotel but he is welcome to come and work with his athletes.
"Whether he accepts the decision is something for Linford to decide."
The British are basing almost their entire squad of 300 athletes and 200 support staff on the Gold Coast. Last week triathlete Tim Don was the lone representative but he has been swamped by more than 100 team mates this weekend.
Among them were the 60-strong rowing squad, led by Steve Redgrave who is hoping to win his fifth gold at five different Olympics when he competes in the coxless four.
His victory with Matthew Pinsent in the coxless pairs was Britain's solitary gold success at Atlanta and BOA camp director Kevin Hickey said on Sunday he hoped the atmosphere in the camp would help improve on that disappointing return.
The swimmers arrive on Monday, with the remainder of the squad, including most of the track and field team, joining later in the week and Hickey said there is a real buzz about the camp.
"Hopefully it will have a marked effect on the athletes when they get into Sydney," he said.
"We are looking realistically at a good respectable haul of medals and with the wind in the right direction the Brits will do every one at home proud."
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