John Humphrys in conversation with successful people who have weathered storms in their careers.
Sunday 22 June
At the peak of his career Linford Christie was one of the fastest and most famous athletes in the world – the cream of his generation with a record-breaking haul of gold medals and titles for sprinting at European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic levels.
He won 23 major championships, competed more than 60 times for his country and captained the British team in a vintage period for athletics. He was the hero of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, when he took the gold medal for 100 metres at the age of 32 but says he proudest moment came at the subsequent World championships.
He’s 48 now, owns a management company and coaches and mentors young athletes.
But the former Olympic champion has become an Olympic pariah. He can’t coach his protégés at the Bejing games; he wasn’t invited to run with the flame through the streets of London; and he’s shunned by (some) leading figures in the athletics establishment. He is – officially at least – a cheat, a user of performance-enhancing drugs; and however often he denies it, the label has stuck.
Linford Christie talks to John Humphrys about his good times and his hard times for this special edition of On The Ropes on BBC Radio 4 at half-past one in the afternoon on Sunday June 22, with another chance to hear the programme on Tuesday evening (June 24) at half-past nine.
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