Chambers: 'It's the guilt that tears you apart. That ate me up'

The future is uncertain for Dwain Chambers but the world silver medallist has opened up on his troubled past
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The Independent Online

Dwain Chambers, the newly established world indoor 60 metres silver medallist, will sit down with his lawyers tomorrow to decide whether to challenge for a place at this summer's Olympics. His legal advisers, believed to be working on a pro bono basis, will weigh up the possibility of successfully contesting the British Olympic Association's by-law banning athletes who have served doping bans from the Games. The likelihood is that they will press ahead.

In the wake of his performance here on Friday, the 29-year-old sprinter spoke out about the circumstances that led him into taking drugs, the shame it caused him, and his urgent desire to be allowed to compete outdoors this season – including, perhaps, at the Beijing Games.

Chambers, whose medal ceremony yesterday was greeted with a few whistles but general applause, returned from a two-year doping ban in 2006, before seeking a career in American football, but it has been his subsequent comments about doping that appear to have provoked his domestic association's attempts to ban him from the world indoor trials.

That position did not stand up in law and now the legal question is pointed towards the BOA. "We're not going to take it on board unless we know we can win," Chambers said. "Monday is going to be the day when I sit down with them."

Asked if he regretted the interview he recorded with the former rower Matthew Pinsent for the BBC last year, when he said a doped athlete would have to be "having a bad day" not to beat a clean one, he replied: "I wasn't thinking right. I wasn't advised on what to say. I was speaking from my heart and it wasn't the right thing to say."

He admitted that taking drugs had made his life "hell", adding: "You've got to watch your back. At the end of the day you're doing something wrong. But I put my hand up. I felt I was living a lie and I didn't want to continue living that way."

Chambers rated his performance in Friday's final above his achievements as a doped athlete. "I'm smiling now more than I did when I ran 9.87 when I won the European Championship because I knew then that I wasn't playing by the rules," he said. "But now I am."

He denied he had been pressed into taking drugs. "It was my decision and I knew exactly what I was doing. As far as I was concerned everybody else was doing wrong and I thought, 'I'm not busting my arse to lose'.

"It's the guilt that tears you apart. Knowing that you are doing something that people believe you are doing naturally and you've got to look at them and say, 'Oh yeah, I train really hard'. That ate me up."

He added that he felt worst about deceiving his friend and rival Christian Malcolm. "More than anything," he said, "it was him that hurt me the most. We've got on since we were toddlers. That's why I very rarely ran the 200 metres, even though I busted my arse to do well at it. Any time Christian was in it, I didn't do it."

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