The Independent’s Damon Wake reports retired sprinter Linford Christie will not participate in a relay carrying the Olympic torch through London.

Christie (above, left) received a letter from London Mayor Ken Livingstone inviting him to take part in April’s torch procession, but a spokesman for the Mayor said it had been sent by mistake.

The 47-year-old has a lifetime Olympic ban after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999, and international Olympic officials condemned the decision to invite him to the torch event.

The Mayor’s spokesman said: “The decision to invite Linford Christie to be a torchbearer was not taken by the Mayor.

“The decision to invite Linford Christie was taken by officials and was a mistake.”

Christie, who won gold in the 100m at the 1992 Barcelona games and has always denied taking the banned drug, was sent the letter “as a formality”, the spokesman said.

Yesterday Emmanuelle Moreau, from the International Olympic Committee, said: “We would have certainly strongly recommended not to give an invitation to an athlete who has an Olympic ban.”

There’s still plenty of time, by the way, for the Astros to tell Roger Clemens they’d rather not have him throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.