Athletics: 'Dwain has the minimum ban and asserts his innocence'

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The Independent Online

A statement was issued late yesterday afternoon on behalf of Dwain Chambers by his solicitor, Graham Shear. In full, it reads:

"Dwain has always and continues to assert that he has never knowingly taken a performance-enhancing substance. The strict liability nature of the IAAF Rules has meant that this was not a factor the tribunal were allowed to take into account in deciding whether or not a doping offence had been committed.

"Dwain was charged with taking a substance which was not listed as a banned substance but which fell within the 'catch-all' provision of the IAAF Rules as being either chemically or pharmacologically related to a banned substance.

"Dwain's challenge to UK Athletics and the IAAF allegations regarding THG focused on the fact that although there was scientific evidence to show that THG was chemically related to banned substances, this in itself could not be sufficient to constitute a doping offence. It was asserted that it would be unjust for an athlete to be banned where there was insufficient evidence to show that THG had any performance-enhancing effect upon the human body.

"Dwain's challenge has been unsuccessful. The tribunal have held that evidence of a chemical relationship between a listed and non-listed substance alone is sufficient to constitute a doping offence. However, the tribunal also noted that there was no clinical evidence of anabolic or performance-enhancing effect of THG in the human body.

"Further, the tribunal noted that no evidence was produced - nor indeed was it even suggested by UK Athletics - that Dwain was knowingly or intentionally involved with THG.

"Dwain has been given the minimum ban available in the circumstances and he continues to assert his innocence.

"The decision of the tribunal is being studied in detail for the purpose of considering a possible appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

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