måndag 23 mars 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Chambers should end all contact with Conte

Dwain Chambers should immediately end his controversial relationship with Victor Conte, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack said here today.
The disgraced British sprinter has resumed working with Conte, the owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operartive (Balco) and who supplied Chambers with the 300 illegal substances he took in the period 2001-2003.
As insidethegames revealed last week, Chambers admitted that they are working on a revolutionary new technique that involves him alternately breathing low and high oxygen air through a hypoxicator.
It supposedly causes the body to begin creating its own Erythropoietin (EPO), the hormone that stimulates red blood cell production and, if taken in a synthetic form, is illegal.
The method Chambers and Conte are pioneering is not banned, although the World Anti-Doping Agency have investiged it, but Diack has now warned the Londoner that he must end the association otherwise there will always be a cloud of suspicion hanging over him. When asked by insidethegames about the relationship, Diack said: "He should stop being in touch with this man who is dangerous for him and the sport.
"He [Conte[ has been sent to prison for what he did and the problems he caused Chambers, among many other athletes.
"Dwain Chambers has to break off all contacts with this man immediately."
Conte pleaded guilty in July 2005 to to one count of conspiracy to distribute steroids and a second count of laundering a portion of a cheque.
He was sentenced three months later to spend four months in prison and another four under house arrest.
Besides Chambers, athletes associated with Conte who have been banned include Marion Jones, who won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, including three gold, Tim Montgomery, the former world record holder for the 100 metres, and Kelli White, who won two gold medals the 2003 World Championships before testing positive and being stripped of her titles.
The IAAF admit they are powerless to prevent Chambers, who won the European indoor 60 metres title earlier this month, from working with Conte because it would too hard to police but there is growing frustration with him that his story is continuing to dominate the sport.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012 who is also a vice-president of the IAAF, was among senior officials here who yesterday debated whether action should be taken against Coe for bringing the sport into disrepute after the publication of his book, Race Against Me. In the end, they decided it was up to UK Sport and UK Athletics to take action if any was necessary.
Coe said: "If you're saying to me, am I am ever comfortable about seeing people who have failed doping tests back on the track? "Then the answer is, no I'm not.
"I also recognise there is a practicality about what I am saying and that if you have a sanction and that sanction isn't a life ban, then you actually sometimes have to hold your nose and accept that people, within the laws of the sport, come back.
"If you're saying to me, am I ever going to be comfortable about seeing somebody who I know has cheated coming back into my sport? "The answer is no, I can't be."

Published// Insidethegame March 22
By Duncan Mackay in Berlin

Note: Duncan Mackay is the publisher and editor of insidethegames.com. He was the 2004 British Sports Journalist of the Year and was the athletics correspondent of The Guardian for 11 years. He was the writer that exposed Dwain Chambers as a drugs cheat.

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