Athletics: Chambers' comeback delayed until next year

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A statement issued by UK Athletics read: "Dwain Chambers received a two-year ban in 2003 which was due to expire on November 7, 2005. However, in line with Wada regulations, as part of an athlete's reinstatement process, Dwain must complete a series of three anti-doping tests with a minimum of four months in between each test, and also undergo a final test prior to receiving clearance to compete."

Chambers produced positive samples for the designer drug THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) in an out-of-competition test carried out in Germany in August 2003. The 27-year-old former European record holder protested his innocence - but was found guilty.

During his absence from the sport Chambers indicated he was eager to pursue an alternative career - and he was linked with a change of sport to American football.

The statement confirmed: "Following his ban, Dwain considered a future outside of the sport and was removed from the anti-doping register at his request.

"In March this year he requested that he be placed back on the register and for the reinstatement process to begin. This delay in the start of his reinstatement procedure means that he will not be clear to compete from November 8.

"The actual date he will be eligible again cannot be specified at this time but it is anticipated it will be in early 2006 following successful completion of the reinstatement process."

UK Athletic's athletics performance director, Dave Collins, said: "We are aware of the circumstances regarding Dwain's return from the ban.

"It is essential that these procedures are followed to the letter of the law. Dwain knows this and is co-operating to ensure that there is no further delay."

Matt O'Dowd is looking for a place on Britain's team for the European Championships in Gothenburg next year by running tomorrow's Frankfurt Marathon.

"The selectors haven't confirmed a minimum time but if I get under two hours 13 or 14 minutes that should be good enough," said O'Dowd who also explained why he preferred to go for European selection rather than for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March.

"It's difficult to do both marathons and although there is a tradition in the Commonwealths, it's not the biggest championships. I'd rather measure myself against our European neighbours."