Mark Richardson showed much potential as a junior and was a bronze medal winner over 400 metres at the 1990 European Junior Championships. He made the British relay team for the 1991 World Championships and 1992 Olympic Games though on both occasions his role was limited to running in the heats. Richardson then lost two whole seasons to injury and did not race again until 1995. He made a successful return to the track and ran a personal best time at the start of the 1996 season but illness at the British trials robbed him of a chance of a berth in the individual 400 m.
Once again his role was limited to a place in the relay but this time he made the final cut and helped his team set a European record in the Olympic final and clinch a silver medal. He continued his momentum into 1997 and only narrowly missed a 400 metre medal at the year’s World Championships.
Richardson also helped Great Britain to a silver medal in the 4×400 which, after a confession of doping by American team member Antonio Pettigrew, was upgraded to gold a decade later.
He inflicted a rare defeat on Michael Johnson in the early part of the 1998 season and later won the European Cup but in the biggest races of the year he was overshadowed by fellow countryman Iwan Thomas and placed third behind him at the European Championship and second at the Commonwealth Games. Richardson again reached the World Championship final in 1999 but at the end of the year the IAAF announced that he had produced a positive drug test for Nandrolone and banned him for two years. His ban was cut short by the IAAF for “exceptional circumstances” following an investigation into contaminated supplements and he made a return to the track. However he failed to reach the same standard of performance and, after an Achilles injury, retired in 2003.
Personal Best: 400 – 44.37 (1998).
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1992 Summer Olympics||Athletics||GBR||Mark Richardson|
|4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic)||Great Britain||3||Bronze|
|1996 Summer Olympics||Athletics||GBR||Mark Richardson|
|4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic)||Great Britain||2||Silver|