OLYMPIC hero Allan Wells has hit out at “false and malicious” rumours of drug use dating back more than 20 years amid suggestions they could resurface in a BBC documentary.
The former 100m champion, from Edinburgh, won gold for Great Britain at the 1980 Moscow games – and said the “groundless” whispers first emerged after his success.
Now it has been suggested the rumours will again feature in a BBC probe into his past, although the corporation would not comment on the issue.
Wells was reported to have received a letter from BBC investigations correspondent Mark Daly which pointed out several drugs claims.
The Olympic star hit back, saying: “I could never have taken drugs. I just could not have lived with myself.
“Once again I find myself having to publicly deny these false and malicious rumours about doping. It’s been unexpected and has been difficult to deal with. It’s frustrating. If I didn’t defend myself it could severely damage my reputation.”
The allegations put by the BBC are understood to include claims Wells took steroids two weeks before his Moscow Olympics success and that along with six fellow athletes he was provided with the banned steroid Stromba by the late athletics doctor Jimmy Ledingham.
Wells, who now stays in Surrey, said: “These allegations go back more than 20 years and have resurfaced at regular intervals. I strenuously denied any involvement in doping at the time and I will continue to do so. I can look back with substantial pride on my achievements.”
The rumours stem from the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, when Wells won gold for Scotland in the 4x100m relay alongside Cameron Sharp, David Jenkins and Drew McMaster.
Almost a decade later, McMaster and Jenkins admitted taking performance enhancing drugs, sparking an independent inquiry by UK Athletics in 1987 which brought in tough punishments for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
There was no suggestion then that Wells had been involved, but in 1995 McMaster made allegations against the Edinburgh sprinter, which were denied.
McMaster, 58, now lives in Ormiston, East Lothian, and said he was interviewed for six hours by the BBC for a Panorama programme, adding: “I’ve waited 30 years for this. It’s going to be a documentary about the truth. Nothing has changed in 30 years.”
The BBC said it would not comment on speculation.