Olympic and world 100m gold medallist is the latest athlete to feature in the Sports Life Stories series
Linford Christie talks about his positive drugs tests, his tough upbringing and his Olympic triumph in the next edition in the series of Sports Life Stories, which will be shown on ITV4 on Tuesday (March 24) at 10pm.
The 1992 Olympic 100m champion, one of Britain’s greatest yet most controversial athletes, speaks of his shock on hearing of his failing a drugs test for nandrolone when he briefly came out of retirement. Talking on the documentary he says: “I thought it was an April Fool. I said, ‘You’re joking,’ she (a UK Athletics official) said, ‘No, I’m serious.’ They said it was nandrolone … I need to be tested now.”
Christie adds: “They tested me – nothing in my system. I didn’t know what nandrolone was.
“We are not scientists, we make mistakes. But until the day I die I will plead my innocence because I know I didn’t do it. People will say, ‘He’s protesting his innocence too much,’ but what am I supposed to do?”
Christie had escaped with a warning after testing positive for pseudo-ephedrine in 1988.
The athlete, who had arrived in the UK with his family from Jamaica when he was seven in 1967, also talks about how he thinks being bullied as a child helped him to succeed as an athlete.
He explains: “That’s most probably why I learned to run. The guys would want to gang up on you, beat you up because I think there were maybe two or three black kids in the whole school while I was there.”
Christie’s story is the fifth in the eight-programme Sports Life Stories series, with marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe having been featured in episode three.
In that revealing and well-received documentary, Radcliffe’s husband, Gary Lough, spoke about the aftermath of her disappointment at the Athens Olympics and how that was what caused them to move from Britain to Monaco in 2004.