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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nick Mashiter

CJ Ujah will be considered for Team GB selection after drugs ban

PA Wire

New UK Athletics technical director Stephen Maguire insists CJ Ujah will be considered for selection once he has served his drugs ban.

The 28-year-old sprinter is now suspended following his positive test after helping Team GB to 4x100m silver at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Ujah was handed a backdated 22-month suspension this week but was cleared of intentionally taking a prohibited substance by the Athletics Integrity Unit and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

He will be available for next year’s World Championships in Hungary and Maguire confirmed, if Ujah is quick enough, he will be in the frame for the British team.

“If he’s available to compete we will select him. I haven’t spoken to CJ in a couple of years. He made a mistake and that’s clear,” he said. “I need to see what the environment is like. CJ, first of all, has to run fast anyway.

“It’s looking at that environment and where it all fits. Hopefully things go easy for CJ in coming back and it would be great to have that choice in selecting CJ. The 100m and 4x100m is going to be tough for anyone.

“I’ll definitely be chatting to CJ. I’ve (also) had a couple of conversations with the BOA (British Olympic Association). It’s getting to know them now the CJ news has broken. He’s eligible next year. It’s a conversation I’ll need to have.”

Ujah blamed a £10 supplement he bought from Amazon for testing positive for Ostarine and S-23 in Japan.

He had always denied taking anything deliberately but Richard Kilty who, along with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Zharnel Hughes, lost their relay medals said earlier this year that he would never forgive Ujah and Maguire concedes work will be needed to reintegrate the sprinter.

“Yes is the word because we have to reaffirm where we’re at, are we all on the same page? I’d be surprised if – although I’m not sure mediation is the right word – we didn’t have conversations about this is, how it’s going to look,” said Maguire.

“There is going to be a big group of athletes, not just CJ, Adam (Gemili), Richard or Zharnel. It’s a group working together to understand how to do things.

“We need a wee bit of time to see how it all evolves. The one thing which was very clear is we have got to ensure our environment, culture and the ability to run fast is better than any other team in the world.”

Maguire, formerly sprints and relays lead at UKA, re-joined the organisation to replace Christian Malcolm last month.

He had rejected a return last year and comes back after a turbulent 12 months at UKA, which has seen athletes disillusioned and key departures.

Maguire said: “(We want) Stability if I am being honest. A culture of stability and understanding that we are all in this together.

“Whether it’s the logistics team, the medical team or performance coaches, we all have a huge bit to play. You know that sounds superficial but that’s about respect.”

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