Remember Ricky Stevenson? The New Marske Harrier beat Mo Farah among others to win the short-course race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country International in 2010. But while the latter went on to win 10 global track titles, Stevenson quit athletics a couple of years later due to a hamstring injury.
Farah was leading on a snow-covered course but started feeling dizzy and faded to third as Stevenson and Steve Vernon passed him in the closing stages, with the winner making the front cover of AW.
Stevenson told the magazine that his coach had devised a 10-year plan which would see him break a world record but, after failing to make the 2012 Olympics, he later pursued his love of house music, became a DJ and even had some of his own music released in 2015 when he was still only 26.
“I could have chosen to get my head down and done it all again for the next Olympic cycle,” he told AW at the time. “But for me it was a case of: ‘Do I really want to put all that effort in for something that can be taken away so quickly?’”
Last month, however, Stevenson was jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting to stealing £40,000 in 2020 from a bed and breakfast near Whitby where he worked as a manager.
Now aged 34, he was sentenced at York Crown Court following a guilty plea earlier this year.
Stevenson initially claimed that guests failed to turn up due to the Covid restrictions in place at that time. But when the hotel owner confronted him in January 2021, Stevenson admitted to using the money to fund his cocaine addiction and gambling.