Chambers in race against time

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The Independent Online

Dwain Chambers's legal bid to compete in next month's Olympics may be timed out in the High Court today.

Chambers, who runs in this weekend's Olympic 100m trials, is trying to overturn the British Olympic Association's by-law which prevents him, and other serious British doping offenders, from competing in the Olympics.

Lawyers for the 30-year-old sprinter served papers on the BOA last week seeking to have the matter determined at a High Court hearing starting on Friday. But the BOA has responded by arranging a directions hearing at the High Court this morning in which it will argue for the case to be delayed.

Although the BOA has not named a specific date for the re-scheduling, a spokeswoman made it clear yesterday that the Association may seek to address the matter after the deadline for Olympic selection which falls on 20 July, effectively filibustering Chambers out of contention.

"We have objected to the short notice we have been given by Chambers at a time when we need to be concentrating all of our resources on Beijing," she said. "We would need time to gather witnesses for the case."

Figures within the BOA are known to be frustrated by Chambers's delay in bringing a case that has been under discussion since February.

The BOA says it has the moral high ground in the case, and has insisted it will mount a "vigorous defence". But figures within the sport, including Dick Pound, the Canadian lawyer who is the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, have cast doubt on whether the by-law will stand up to legal challenge.