DISGRACED pole vault champion Janine Whitlock today spoke for the first time about her drugs ban - and her appearance under another name in contests.
Whitlock was spotted at weightlifting contests around the south of England under a false name but was caught.
She has denied competing but admits she was training and warming up with competitors.
Janine, 30, who began her athletics career at Longwood Harriers, was tested positive for steroids last summer after breaking her 37th UK record in the pole vault.
She was banned from athletics until July 2004 as well as being given a lifetime ban from the Olympics.
Janine is currently based in London, living on benefits, while she waits for the day when she can return to competition.
Last week it was discovered she had been spotted at weightlifting events using the alias Ginny Howgate.
Janine last night claimed all she was doing was weight training under competition conditions, to maintain her edge.
"I was in a room where there was a competition going on, people have seen me and they have got the wrong end of the stick," she explained.
Brian Hamill, chairman of the south eastern division of the British Weightlifting Association, was suspended for two years for bringing the sport into disrepute.
He was disciplined for knowingly allowing Janine to compete under the false name.
"They must have recognised me and thought: `She's lifting and there she is competing with everyone else'," said Janine.
The BWLA upholds bans made in other sports.
"You train to compete," explained Janine's father Tony, who still lives at Liversedge.
"What she did was competition training but not in competition and there's nothing wrong with that.
"She was advised by Brian Hamill. He set it up. She trusted him.
"Brian Hamill said it was OK so what is Janine supposed to think? Brian Hamill suggested an alias."
Janine has maintained a punishing training programme since last summer, all the while trying to discover reasons why she could have tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid methandienonethe.
Recent research has shown that steroids are found in some off-the-shelf supplements.
"We have found out that contaminated steroids are rife in this country," said Mr Whitlock.
"We are not talking about an isolated incident. We are talking 15 per cent of all supplements tested in an IOC (International Olympic Committee) accredited laboratory in Cologne.
"Our message to every single sports person out there is do not take any supplement because if you do you are talking your whole career being ruined and life being ruined."
Meanwhile, Janine gets on with her own daily routine.
"I get upset quite often. I'm better about it but I get angry. I can't go back on what's happened. I have lost so much."