Chambers controversy prompts selectors to review rules
Saturday 09 February 2008
As Dwain Chambers prepares to stake his claim for a return to international sprinting at the World Indoor trials that get under way in Sheffield today, UK Athletics, which has opposed the sprinter's appearance on the grounds that he has not been on its out-of-competition doping register for the last year, is preparing to reshape its selection policy.
Niels de Vos, the UKA chief executive who had to back down under legal challenge from Chambers, said yesterday that he wants to strengthen the domestic body's position on picking athletes. If Chambers, who already has a 60 metres qualifying time for next month's World Indoor Championships in Valencia, wins his race tomorrow he will have the right to automatic selection.
"I need to frame our governance rules so we can maintain a right of selection," De Vos said. "And I must do so in such a way that the law cannot unpick that right. I just want our body to be able to maintain its right to select whomever we choose for our national teams. No one would dream of telling Fabio Capello or Brian Ashton that the law means you will pick this individual and yet that's the situation athletics finds itself in."
It is win or bust for Chambers tomorrow, however, as he would be unlikely to secure one of the two discretionary places for the 60m if he does not claim a place by right. UKA will doubtless hope to avoid embarrassment through a win from Craig Pickering, who won last month's Glasgow meeting in 6.57sec, 0.03sec faster than Chambers recorded in winning in Birmingham last weekend.
Jeanette Kwakye will be seeking to claim the British 60m record, having just missed it in finishing fourth at last year's European Indoor Championships.
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