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Norway suspends coach for suspicious emails

A Norwegian track coach suspended for a series of suspicious emails about performance-enhancing drugs claims he is innocent and the messages were forged, the Norwegian Athletics Association said Tuesday.

Svein Arne Hansen, an association official, said that Yugoslav-born coach Petar Vukicevic told the group on Monday - the day he was suspended -that he had nothing to do with the emails, which were written in Serbo-Croatian and sent to a Slovenian colleague.

There were a total of five emails sent in 2001-2003 in which Vukicevic allegedly asked details about steroids and their effects on athletes, the association said.

Hansen refused to say who Vukicevic accused of the forgery, but Norwegian media reported that the former Yugoslav hurdler named his wife as the culprit.

Media also reported the emails were sent to Slovenian track coach Srdjan Djordjevic, though Hansen refused to confirm this.

Djordjevic coached sprint star Merlene Ottey after she moved to Slovenia from her native Jamaica. She tested positive for a banned substance, nandrolone, in 1999 but was later cleared.

Vukicevic, who competed in the 1980 Moscow Olympics as a hurdler, has been contracted by the Norwegian Athletics Association to coach his daughter, 25-year-old Christina, who runs the 60-metre and 100-metre hurdles races.

The association said that Anti-Doping Norway, an independent enforcement agency, will carry out the investigation.


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