Chambers causes headache with Birmingham victory
Monday 04 February 2008
An emphatic victory in the Birmingham Games 60m has provided Dwain Chambers with the qualifying time he needs to contest next weekend's World Indoor trials. It has also provided UK Athletics, which is determined that he should not be allowed back into the international running until he has been regularly drug-tested for a year, with an increasingly intractable problem.
Chambers, 29, who won his final on Saturday in 6.60sec, inside the required mark of 6.90, is now on a collision force with the domestic authority, which has taken its stance on moral, rather than legal grounds. The sprinter, who returned to athletics in 2006 after serving a two-year doping ban and is making a second comeback after the collapse of his American Football career, insists he is legally entitled to compete now as he never asked to be taken off the anti-doping register.
The International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF) confirmed last week that the former European 100m champion was free to continue running "from an anti-doping rules perspective". Chambers commented: "I am trying to be diplomatic because I do not want to hinder my chances of getting to the trials. But I never took myself off the drugs register. It was their decision and it has left both of us in a sticky situation.
"I never said I am retiring. I am back on the register and about three weeks ago I was tested."
UK Athletics is obliged to pick the winner of its trials in Sheffield to compete in the World Indoor Championships in Valencia from 7-9 March, assuming they have a qualifying time. UKA officials will doubtless be hoping the 60m title goes to Craig Pickering, who recorded 6.58sec on Saturday to win the 60m at the Stuttgart IAAF meeting.
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