Athletics: Banning threat to Chambers
Thursday 17 January 2008
UK Athletics is urgently considering a policy review that would include banning competitors who return after serious doping offences from representing their country.
Such a policy would affect Dwain Chambers, whose plans to resume his sprinting career after the collapse of his American football ambitions have aroused strong antipathy within domestic athletics.
The former European 100m champion, who has already made one comeback after serving a two-year doping ban, learned yesterday that he was ineligible to compete at this weekend's Southern Indoor Championships at Lee Valley, where he wanted to gain a 60 metres qualifying time for next month's World Indoor Championship trials, because he had missed the entry deadline of 8 January.
Chambers, who automatically dropped off the International Association of Athletics Federation's dope-testing register in July last year because he was playing for the now defunct NFL Europe team Hamburg Sea Devils, is legally entitled to resume his athletics career. But there is a feeling within the domestic federation – which is still owed a share of the £200,000 prize-money Chambers was asked to pay back in the wake of his ban – that a moral stand has to be taken to prevent an athlete who has not been regularly dope-tested lining up against competitors who have been subject to frequent unannounced testing.
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