Chambers offered way back into the big time

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The Independent Online

Another day; another significant twist in the Dwain Chambers saga. Winner of the European indoor 60 metres crown on Sunday, loser of a place in the British team's 4x100m relay plans on Monday, the reinstated drug taker was yesterday celebrating a breakthrough in his bid to get back onto the mainstream European track circuit. Hitherto blocked from running in any of the 51 one-day invitation events staged by the Euromeetings group, because of a policy to exclude athletes who have served two-year doping bans, Chambers found a welcome mat being rolled in his direction by Gerhard Janetzky, director of the Berlin Golden League meeting.

Breaking ranks with his fellow promoters, Janetzky said that the Belgrave Harrier would be invited to compete in Berlin on 14 June and that he hoped to pit Europe's fastest man against one of the major global players in the sprint game, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell or Tyson Gay. "I think there should be no ban on athletes doing their profession," Janetzky said. "There have been many athletes who were allowed to start again after their bans. Why should Chambers be punished harder than others? I am surprised that for many Chambers is being held up as the root of all evil."

It remains to be seen whether other promoters will follow suit, now that Chambers, having shattered the European indoor 60m record, has emerged as the hottest sprinting property behind Bolt and potentially big box office material. However, the 30-year-old is unlikely to get a chance to run in the two major invitation events in Britain this summer, at Crystal Palace and Gateshead. "Our position is clear and consistent in that we continue to fully support the Euromeetings stance," a spokesman for Fast Track, promoters of the events, said.

Chambers said: "This is good news. If I do get into Berlin this will have a roll-on effect for the other meetings."