Inside Lines: Now Chambers faces world and Euro ban
Sunday 20 July 2008
No doubt Dwain Chambers would have anticipated a call from Buckingham Palace had he beaten the British Olympic Association, gone to Beijing and claimed a medal. He has enough front to have taken HRH to court if she declined him a gong. As it turns out, he won't even be getting a call from Crystal Palace. Fast Track, organisers of next weekend's Aviva London Grand Prix, confirm he cannot be invited under an agreement with European promoters to bar all athletes who have had two-year dop-ing bans. England's Commonwealth Games Council operate a similar life ban to the BOA, and Tanni Grey-Thompson's working party on drugs is likely to recommend to UK Athletics that cheats are banned from representing Britain in all competitions. So Chambers faces exclusion from the next World and European Championships too. A landmark victory for the BOA chairman, Lord Moynihan, if a costly one, as he sportingly chose not to seek the BOA's £150,000 legal costs from Chambers; it is believed he is underwriting them himself.
Mealtimes are not funtime for Frankie
Sky are believed to be ahead on points in the battle with Setanta to win satellite screening of Amir Khan's future fights, with an announcement expected this week. A BBC tie-up could also be part of a new deal. No doubt Khan's Olympic lightweight successor Frankie Gavin will heed Amir's warning on these pages to watch his waistline in the Games village food hall. "Funtime Frankie" is Britain's main golden hope as the current world amateur champion, but the 22-year-old Brummie is rumoured to be having weight problems and has been boxing recently at light-welter.
Davies speaks a volume on the Games
In their infinite wisdom the BBC have elected not to use the experienced Olympics veteran Barry Davies to do his usual word-perfect commentary job on the opening ceremony in Beijing, oddly preferring the Welsh lilt of newscaster Huw Edwards. Although Davies will still be heard on the hockey at his 11th Games, those who crave a bit more Bazza will be delighted to learn that he is in full voice in an audiobook on the history of the Olympics, which tells the story of every Games since 1896. Davies speaks all of the 46,000 words graphically penned by John Goodbody, and if you are an athlete, fan or even a journo flying to Beijing, grab a copy of the five-part CD (Naxos, £16.99) at the airport. It will make the 12-hour journey pass in no time, as it lasts for half of it.
Why football needs to be more far-sighted
If there is a budding Barry Davies or two out there, their voices would be welcomed by the organisers of football commentaries for the blind, who say that at some grounds these are non-existent, poor or biased. Soccer Sight is a new project designed to bring better-quality commentaries for visually impaired fans by creating a better word picture of matches, with volunteers trained by the BBC and the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Currently fewer than a third of UK professional clubs provide this free service, but the hope is they will become rather more far-sighted.
Red Arrows 'ban' is all pie in the sky, insist Government
Despite categorical Government denials ("absolutely no truth in this") a petition is still being presented to Downing Street demanding that the Red Arrows should not be barred from a 2012 Olympic fly-past because it would be "too British and militaristic". Seems someone has got their flight paths crossed.
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