Baumann Threatens To Run in Hamburg
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ Dieter Baumann intends to defy his international drug ban and the wishes of organizers by running in the Hamburg Marathon if he wins a court order.
Baumann, the 1992 Olympic champion at 5,000 meters, is suspended until 2003 after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone.
Hamburg organizers fear international track authorities will react as they did after the German indoor championships in March. Baumann ran in a 3,000 race and eight runners who competed against him received temporary suspensions.
``Dieter Baumann doesn’t really care about running, he wants his right to start back again, and our marathon fits into his plans,″ race director Wolfram Goetz said.
Goetz hopes to prevent Baumann from running in the marathon on the grounds that it is an international event and not a local German race.
A Frankfurt court will rule April 18 on Baumann’s appeal. That’s four days before the marathon, where 20,000 runners are expected.
Many top runners who compete internationally, along with those belonging to track clubs, could be vulnerable. Under international rules, athletes are forbidden to compete against a banned competitor.
Baumann has campaigned for the right to run in Germany since a legal panel of the country’s track body cleared him of drug charges after irregularities surfaced in his test samples.
A Dortmund court on March 21 rejected his latest attempt to be reinstated.
Baumann steadfastly maintains his innocence and says he can turn only to the courts in his fight to compete again. But many top German runners, such as 800 meter Olympic champion Nils Schumann, have termed him ``selfish″ for risking their eligibility.
Baumann contends he is the victim of a conspiracy and that his toothpaste was spiked with nandrolone.