Chambers Denied Olympic Dream

Posted on: 18 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

British sprinter Dwain Chambers will not run at the Olympics after he loses his attempt to overturn his lifetime ban.

The 30-year-old British 100m champion took his case to secure an injunction against the British Olympic Association by-law to the High Court, but the ruling went against him.

Under BOA rules, the sprinter was banned from future Games after testing positive for the steroid THG in 2003.

Although the case was not due to be held until next year, Chambers wanted the injunction in order for him to be allowed to run in the Olympics next month before contesting the full case next year.

However, a High Court judge has ruled out that possibility and Chambers will now miss out on his dream of returning to the Olympic Games.

Chambers had won the National Championships and having easily attained the Olympic qualifying standard, he would have represented Britain’s best chance of a 100m medial in Beijing.

He has served out a two-year ban after testing positive for the performance-enhancing steroid, but a special BOA bylaw says athletes cannot represent Team GB at the Olympics after a failed drugs test.

Several other athletes from other countries who have failed drugs tests and served out bans wil be taking part in Beijing but Chambers will not be one of them.

In his deliberation, Judge Colin Mackay said Chambers had little chance of winning a medal in Beijing and that it would be unfair to deny an opportunity for a clean athlete to compete.

He added that including Chambers in the Great Britain team would upset the harmony between the athletes.

BOA chairman Lord Moynihan said the judge's decision had vindicated the by-law, which has been on the books for 16 years.

Moynihan says "It's a matter of regret that Dwain Chambers, an athlete of such undoubted talent, should by his own actions have put himself out of the running to shine on the Olympic stage in Beijing."

"The BOA will continue to send a powerful message that nobody found guilty of serious drug-cheating offences should have the honour of wearing GB vests at the Olympic Games."

"The court's decision allows us now to focus on, and support, those athletes who will be travelling to Beijing to represent Team GB in just 21 days' time. We must now focus on their interests."

Chambers left court saying almost nothing to the scores of juornalists, TV cameramen and photographers who followed him from court."

The London-born athlete had argued that the ban was an unfair restraint of trade. He still has the right of appeal against the decision, but the GB team’s deadline is drawing ever closer and Chambers looks unlikely to feature.

When the British team was named on Monday, only Simeon Williamson – who finished second behind Chambers in the Olympic trials – was named for the individual 100m event, with two places left unfilled until the legal case had been decided.

Should Dwain Chambers be allowed to compete in the Beijing Olympics?

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