BACK FROM HELL
By Tania Phillips
TWEED middle-distance runner Melissa Rollison has shrugged off the controversy surrounding a drug scandal to produce a blistering personal best as she works towards next month's Commonwealth Games.
Just hours after revealing that her former coach Said Aouita had advised her to take performance enhancing drugs, Rollison finished third in a pre-Games mile event in Melbourne on Saturday.
"I switched my phone off on Saturday as I prepared to race," Rollison told the Daily News yesterday.
"I did a 10 second PB in the mile race and was third."
Rollison had earlier alleged that former Australian national distance coach Aouita had suggested she take human growth hormone to reach the top of her sport.
"He talked about it every day," Rollison said.
"I said right at the start that I wasn't interested and he was like 'everyone else is on it, so why wouldn't you want to do it?'
"It (training with Aouita) ruined three years of my life."
Australian sports officials will investigate the latest claims.
Rollison's claims support Victorian runner Mark Fountain, who initially made drug allegations against Aouita in 2004 in a letter to the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
Aouita's two-year reign as Australia's distance running coach ended the same year and the Moroccan Olympic 5000m champion has not returned to Australia since.