Athletics: Britons stripped of relay medals

Britain has lost the silver medals it won in last year's World Championship sprint relay following Dwain Chambers' decision not to appeal against the two-year ban for doping he received on 24 February.

Chambers, who tested positive for the steroid tetrahydrogestrinone in an out-of-competition test on 1 August last year, anchored the British to second place behind the United States in Paris.

But the International Association of Athletics Federations confirmed yesterday that it had stripped Chambers' results from each event he had contested since giving his positive sample, which means that his team-mates, Christian Malcolm, Darren Campbell and Marlon Devonish, will have to hand back their medals. Brazil are promoted to the silver position and the Netherlands to bronze.

"The decision has been made; I can't do anything about it," Campbell said. "I will have to go with it and give my medal back. It will just lift and inspire the team to achieve more at the Olympics."

Meanwhile, Dean Macey has pulled out of a low-key competition in Nicosia next month as a precaution after injuring a hamstring in training. Macey, who has won silver and bronze decathlon world championship medals, planned to compete in the Cypriot Championships on 15 May but will now refocus on the Gotzis meeting on 29-30 May, to seek the Olympic qualifying standard of 8,000 points.

Denise Lewis, the defending Olympic heptathlon champion, who still plans to compete at the Cypriot Championships, will meet Marion Jones, of the United States, in the long jump at the Gateshead Grand Prix on 27 June. It will be Lewis's first outdoor appearance at a major British event in almost three years. The 31-year-old, who also plans to run the 110 metres hurdles, said: "I want to give myself every chance of retaining the Olympic title in Athens this year and Gateshead is the ideal opportunity to sharpen up."

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