Christie still bitter over London torch snub
Former Olympic and world 100m champion Linford Christie has reignited the row over him not being part of the Olympic torch relay team in London in April.
Christie, who was banned for two years after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999, was not nominated by the British Olympic Association (BOA) to be part of the parade which involved former Olympians and celebrities.
“I think it should be my right as a stalwart of our sport, I’ve done my country proud,” Christie, who won gold in Barcelona in 1992, told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday.
“For me, I look at track and field and what I did in the sport, it’s like going to war.”
Christie, 48, always denied taking performance-enhancing substances but under BOA rules is not allowed to work in an official capacity with the national Olympic team although he does coach several top athletes.
“I went out there and I battled against other countries and put British sprinting on the map and so therefore I don’t think it’s something I should want to do, I think it’s something I should be asked to do,” he said of the torch relay.
“Everyone says OK for me if I sing my own song and blow my own trumpet, I’ve achieved more single-handedly, I’d say, than any other athlete or any other sportsman in this country.”
Christie claims that his fall-out with London Olympic Committee chairman Sebastian Coe, a former team mate, was partly to blame for his omission from the torch relay.
“Seb and I were good friends and I’ve known Seb for a long time and if he felt that he had a problem with me, as you do if you are friends, you come and say it, you come and say it to me as man to man,” added Christie.
“So therefore, for him to go in a newspaper and say something, then he had an agenda, and that’s what I think it is, and again what did he achieve for athletics?
“I’m still bitter about him, I cannot stand the guy and, to be honest, I wish we didn’t even talk about it because I have nothing good to say about Sebastian Coe at all, absolutely nothing.”
As well as winning Olympic gold, Christie won the the world title in Stuttgart in 1993 and was also three-times European champion at 100m.© AAP 2013
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