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Mark Ashton Richardson (born 26 July 1972 in Slough)[1] is a British former athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metres.

Mark Richardson
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1972-07-26) 26 July 1972 (age 47)

He competed for Great Britain in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, United States in the 4 x 400 metre relay where he won the silver medal with his team mates Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch and Roger Black. This team set a UK record, 2:56.60, in the process.

At the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Richardson ran the anchor leg for Great Britain in the 4 × 400 m relay, winning the silver medal. His unofficial split time was 43.5. On 7 January 2010 it was announced that Great Britain's 1997 World Championship 4 × 400 m relay team are to be awarded the gold medal; they were beaten by a U.S. team that included Antonio Pettigrew, who admitted in 2008 to using performance-enhancing drugs.[2]

Doping caseEdit

Richardson received a two-year ban from the IAAF after he failed a drugs test which was taken on 25 October 1999. He was suspended in March 2000 and subsequently missed the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.[3] He tested positive for banned substance nandrolone, but claimed that he was unaware of taking the substance.[4] Unlike fellow competitors Linford Christie, Gary Cadogan and Doug Walker, Richardson accepted the ban and chose not to pursue his case to arbitration.[4] The IAAF did re-instate Richardson in June 2001, under their "exceptional circumstances" rule.[5] UK Athletics also cleared Richardson (as they did with Christie, Cadogan and Walker) as they believed there was enough reasonable doubt over the intention to take a banned substance.[4] The IAAF overrule such decisions because they hold athletes completely responsible for drug samples under a "strict liability rule".[4]

Later career and retirementEdit

Although he was re-instated to competition in 2001, Richardson was never able to deliver on the potential that he showed prior to his ban when he became one of the few athletes ever to beat Michael Johnson over 400m in 1998.[6] He never managed to win a solo gold medal at a major championship and retired from the sport after failing to recover from an Achilles tendon injury towards the end of 2003.[7]


  1. ^ Mark Richardson. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2013-11-30.
  2. ^ Great Britain's relay heroes will finally be honoured
  3. ^ Richardson suspended over drugs test
  4. ^ a b c d "Two year drug ban cut short for Richardson". 15 June 2011. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Mark Richardson reinstated under Exceptional Circumstances rule
  6. ^ Star still waiting for solo gold
  7. ^ Richardson forced to call time on career

External linksEdit