Idowu rival banned for fighting with female star

FRENCH triple-jumper Teddy Tamgho, the arch-rival of one of Britain’s leading Olympic hopefuls, Phillips Idowu, has escaped a ban that threatened to rule him out of the London 2012 Games.

The World Indoor champion was hauled before French athletics chiefs for his part in an altercation with an unnamed female competitor at a training camp earlier this year.

Tamgho was deemed culpable enough to be hit with a 12-month ban, but crucially half of the punishment has been suspended, meaning he will be free to take part in the Olympics.

The 22-year-old, a major threat to Idowu’s hopes of winning gold on home soil, has also been fined €1,500 (£1,250) and ordered to undertake 50 hours’ community service.

A spokesman for the French athletics federation said: “He is suspended for 12 months as of November, six of them suspended. He expressed his regrets and acknowledges the verdict.”

No further details of the incident, which took place in October at a training camp in the south of France, have been revealed.

Tamgho set a new indoor world record at the European Indoor Championships in Paris earlier this year, jumping 17.92m on two occasions. The ban means he will miss the chance to defend his title at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March. His ban expires on 18 May.

Meanwhile, a long-awaited decision on who will move into the Olympic Stadium following London 2012 will not be made until just weeks before the Games start.

Legacy chiefs the OPLC yesterday confirmed they had re-opened the bidding process for the £500m facility, with football club West Ham the clear favourites. Potential tenants have until the end of January to register interest and must submit bids in March.

A final decision has been promised in May. The winning bidders will be expected to move in during 2014. A deal was struck with West Ham earlier this year but scrapped amid fears legal wranglings could stall the process indefinitely.