Scottish Olympic hero Allan Wells has attacked what he called 'false and malicious' rumours that he is a drugs cheat.

The sprinter, who won the 100m gold medal in Moscow in 1980, has long denied claims that he has taken performance enhancing substances.

Now the 63-year-old is understood to be facing new allegations from a BBC Scotland investigation.

Loading article content

The athlete, in a statement, said: "Once again I find myself having to publicly deny these false and malicious rumours regarding doping that threaten to do untold damage to my reputation.

"These allegations go back more than 20 years and have resurfaced at regular intervals during that period.

"A simple Google search documents the nature of the claims made against me.

"I strenuously denied any involvement in doping at that time and I will continue to do so."

Mr Wells won the 4x100m relay at the Edmonton Commonwealth Games in 1978 in a team that included two men who have subsequently admitted doping.

Fellow runner David Jenkins said he took drugs during competition in the 1970s and was later sentenced to a seven-year term in jail for his part in steroid smuggling into the United States of America.

Drew McMaster also admitted using drugs during competition and in 1995, also made doping allegations against Cameron Sharp and Mr Wells, who made up the foursome.

Mr McMaster also accused coach Frank Dick and team doctor, James Ledingham, of being involved in doping.

The allegations, which first emerged in the press 20 years ago, have previously been denied by Mr Wells, Mr Dick and Mr Ledingham.

It is understood Mr Wells has received a letter outlining allegations from award-winning investigations reporter Mark Daly of the BBC.

Mr Wells in his statement said: "Some of my contemporaries within the athletics team have been discredited by their own involvement in drug use.

"We won 4x100m relay gold for Scotland at the 1978 Commonwealth Games but that medal will be forever tarnished in my mind by the admissions of McMaster and Jenkins.

"However, I can look back with substantial pride on my individual achievements.

"None of these medals were achieved with the aid of illegal performance-enhancing substances. Training, exceptional coaching and a dedication and desire to win were my only driving forces.

"It is sad that these assertions continue to be made and given credence by BBC Scotland, especially since neither Dr Ledingham nor Cameron are able to address them in the manner I am able to."

Mr Wells in his statement distanced himself from both Mr Dick and Dr Ledingham.

"Frank will be able to address these rumours again, as he has done in the past.

"However, the BBC seem to suggest that my close relationship with Frank was one aspect of my alleged involvement in doping.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a matter of public record that I did not get on all that well with Frank Dick.

"I have never asked Frank for support of any kind and would never countenance doing so.

"I did not work closely with Dr Ledingham either. It was very seldom that I received any type of medical treatment from Dr Ledingham and I know of no basis for the suggestions that he facilitated drug use amongst team members other than that allegation by McMaster.

"The matter of drug abuse in the 1970s and early 1980s was addressed by an independent inquiry set up in 1987. I have gone on record to outline my stance against drug cheats in athletics and have continued to do so since my retirement. That stance has not changed one bit.

"I experienced pressure throughout my career and these allegations are just another part of dealing with those who seek to denigrate my achievements as well as the reputation of others within the sport.

"I withstood pressure from government to withdraw from the Moscow 1980 Olympics and went on to win 100m gold.

"The pressure I am now under is deeply regrettable for me and my family but I will withstand it and continue to make the false nature of these claims known."

Mr McMaster is understood to have been interviewed by the BBC last year for a Panorama documentary that he said was about "corruption in British sport". The Corporation, which has not made any claim in print or broadcast, did not comment.

Mr Wells' lawyer Peter Watson said: "This is a shocking slur by the BBC on an Olympic hero.

"Statements from already disgraced British athletes is not evidence. It is gossip of the vilest kind."

Mr McMaster was knocked out in the quarter finals of the Moscow Olympics 100m competition later won by his fierce rival, Mr Wells.

Mr Sharp, a former European 200m silver-medallist, represented Scotland at three Commonwealth Games but was left mentally and physically disabled after a car accident in 1991.