Brit 400 runner Mark Richardson retires

LONDON, Dec 2 AFP - British 400 metre runner MarkRichardson has announced his retirement from the sportafter admitting to losing his battle with persistentinjury.
The 31-year-old Richardson, who helped Britain win4x400m relay gold at the World Championships in Tokyo1991 and whose best time of 44.37 still ranks second onthe British all-time list, has failed to overcome anAchilles injury.
Richardson was selected for Britain’s Sydney Olympicsteam and after surgery in 2002 had hoped to return tosecure a place for the 2004 Games in Athens.
However Richardson, who once tested positive forbanned steroid nandrolone - although he denied anydoping offence and fought hard to clear his name -admits it is time to hang up his spikes.
``For the past three years it has been a veryfrustrating and disappointing time. I wish all myfriends and colleagues in the British Team every successin Athens.’’
Although selected for the Sydney Olympics Richardsonwas forced to withdraw as the International Associationof Athletics Federations arbitration committee still hadto review his drugs charge.
Richardson was later banned for two years although hewas later reinstated by the IAAF in July 2001 when itwas found that he had taken nandrolone accidentally in asupplement.