Dwain Chambers: Lance Armstrong has done the right thing by coming clean
Britain's most infamous drugs cheat speaks from experience as his own rehabilitation continues
Monday 28 January 2013
It was not quite as grand as an Oprah production. Dwain Chambers, believe it or not, is 11 years down the line from his own confessional time – having been caught out first by the anti-doping authorities, of course – but in the bowels of the Emirates Arena, leaning against a barrier, Britain's most notorious sporting drugs cheat gave his thoughts on Lance Armstrong's televised version of coming clean.
"I would say, yes, he has done the right thing by being honest," the 34-year-old sprinter said, after continuing down the rehabilitation road himself with an impressive 60m win in the British Athletics Glasgow International Match.
"I would say that's what any person in life should do. If you make mistakes, we have young people looking up to us, so for me that is the right thing to do.
"I don't know the circumstances behind all of what's happened to Lance Armstrong but I hear what I hear on the radio and I think, 'I know what it's like. I'm glad it's not me.' I've been there and done it, so I know what he could possibly be going through."
It was back in 2002 that Chambers tested positive for a range of banned products, including the designer steroid THG. He served a two-year suspension and returned to competition in 2006, running for Britain at London 2012 after the British Olympic Association by-law banning the selection of former doping offenders was overturned.
On Saturday, he opened his 2013 indoor season with a victory in 6.58sec, putting him second in the world rankings for 60m. Only Joseph Morris of the United States has gone faster this year and his 6.57sec was clocked with the assistance of high altitude at Colorado Springs.
The third-fastest man of all-time, with the 6.42sec he clocked to win the European indoor title in Turin in 2009, Chambers is preparing for a shot at regaining the continental crown in Gothenburg in March. He has moved his training base from north London to Loughborough to work under the guidance of Rana Reider, the former US coach of the year who has been hired by UK Athletics.
It is the first time Chambers has been allowed to work officially with a UKA coach since his return from suspension.
"It's a bit weird to turn up at the track at Loughborough and say, 'Hiya, coach'," he said. "That felt weird, because I haven't been able to be open like that for years. But it's a nice feeling. I do now finally feel like part of the team.
"I stay with one of the other athletes, Anyika Onuora. She's got a house up there and I rent one of the rooms. I do two-week stints up there, get some feedback, then come home and stay with the family.
"It is a big commitment – and my wife goes crazy. Every time I get home I see the scorn in her eyes. But she understands what I'm trying to do. It's an opportunity we didn't think we were going to get again, so she says, 'Go and do it and make sure you do it properly.'"
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