A company which has drugs cheat Linford Christie signed up to be associated with its activities was unveiled this morning as the supplier of the clothes that Britain’s team will wear at the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing on August 8.
The news of Christie’s association with the formal wear range, as revealed in insidethegames.com, should come as an embarrassment to the British Olympic Association, following claims by Christie that his exclusion from this year’s Olympic torch relay and the planning for the 2012 London Games was due to institutionalised racism in British sport.
Christie, pictured above right, won the 100 metres at the 1992 Olympics, but twice had adverse drug test findings during his career, including once at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where officials gave him “the benefit of the doubt” rather than a ban. Despite laboratory evidence and his other drug testing records, Chrisitie has always claimed that he was a clean athlete.
The disclosure of Christie’s involvement in the BOA’s formal Olympic wear comes just a day after another disgraced track sprinter, Dwain Chambers, announced that he would be taking the BOA to court to challenge its controversial bye law that forbids convicted drug cheats from representing Britain at the Olympics. Some lawyers believe that if Chambers succeeds with his court case, it will establish a precedent to allow Christie to attend future Games, including London in 2012, in an official capacity as a coach, something he has been denied since 2000, following his own positive test for vast levels of the anabolic steroid nandrolone.
The unveiling of the BOA’s formal wear for Beijing was made this morning in central London, where the range of clothing was provided by British denims firm Lee Cooper.
Swimmer Mark Foster, gymnast Louis Smith and modern pentathlete Katy Livingstone modelled the BOA suits that will be supplied to 1,200 members of the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the opening ceremonies in Beijing.
With their suit, each member of Team GB will receive a replica of the gold medal from the London 1908 Olympics. In addition to this, there will also be two miniature gold medal replicas in button form on the inside breast pocket of the jackets.
Christie, as a celebrity signed by Lee Cooper as part of its charity activities, was expected to attend the BOA launch in Shaftesbury Avenue – seen as a deliberate flaunting of his official isolation from Britain’s Olympic activities over the last eight years.
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