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RUNNERS


new mile record, a super fast 4:16.71. In May 1986 she gave birth to a daughter, missed the 1987 season through injury, but was accorded the honour of carrying the Stars and Stripes at the opening ceremony of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. That elusive medal still eluded her – yet again.


MORE CONTROVERSY Having failed to make the 1992 team,


Decker was again dogged by controversy after qualifying for the 5000m line-up at the 1996 Olympics at the age of 37. She delivered a positive urine test after the trials. While the legal process ensued she was eliminated in the Olympic heats. Remarkably, Decker won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 1997 World Indoor Championships but a few months later was banned by the IAAF.


A legal to-and-fro culminated in Decker being stripped of her silver medal. Decker insisted that the positive test was due to birth control pills she had been taking. It was a sad end to a colourful career,


but even if the authorities had ruled in her favour, a body which had been pounded on the road and track for 25 years of racing had finally given out to a succession of stress fractures.


RUNNING FREE n 47


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