fredag 10 juli 2009

Dwain Chambers finds ally in battle to compete at 2012 Olympics

The World Anti-Doping Agency has reopened the debate about Dwain Chambers' eligibility for the London Olympics.
It expressed concern at his treatment and called on the British authorities to let him "go about his daily business untainted".
Chambers, who will be competing this weekend in the World Championship trials in Birmingham, has served a mandatory two-year ban for doping offences, yet was still prevented from representing Britain at last year's Olympics.
A British Olympic Association bylaw gives a lifetime ban to anyone convicted of a doping offence. Christine Ohuruogu successfully appealed after missing three drugs tests and went on to win a gold medal in Beijing.
UK Athletics selected Chambers for the individual events at the recent European Cup but he has been excluded from the main European meetings and has already been told that he will not be considered for the 100 metres relay at the World Championships in Berlin.
"I don't know why he is being singled out," said David Howman, the director general of WADA. "It does not feel right when you see he is still subjected to things that maybe others haven't. Is he subjected to those because he owned up? Sure he was a bad cheat. You shouldn't wear a nasty stain [because you owned up]. That's not fair.
"We are concerned from a human point of view. He has been sanctioned and he has served his sanction and he should be able to go about his daily business untainted. That is normal human behaviour for someone who has served their time.
"Fairness prevails and once you have served your time you are not subject to double jeopardy. That is a basic human, let alone legal, process. It [an admission] is significant because if an athlete has cheated and is prepared to say what is going on, then we should be listening."
Chambers failed to gain an injunction that would have allowed him to compete at Beijing. Howman, who was a practising barrister before working for WADA, said that the BOA's stance differed from doping law in the vast majority of other countries and said the bylaw needed to be legally tested.
"The BOA have a rule that I think only one other Olympic association has in the world," Howman told The Daily Telegraph. "He was challenging it and only reached an interim stage. I would have been very interested if that challenge was continued in court to see what the judge would have said. The interim judgment had nothing to do with the merits of the case, it was only whether he should have an interim injunction or not.
"The principles around that have nothing to do with it, so the case is yet to be heard. There needs to be a court decision on that rule."
Cyclist David Millar is also considering a challenge to the BOA bylaw so that he can compete in London in 2012. Millar has admitted to doping offences, served his ban and since worked with anti-doping organisations in an attempt to educate other athletes. He will decide what action he might take after the Tour de France

By Jeremy Wilson
Published: 5:26PM BST 09 Jul 2009

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