Nowhere left to run as ban on Chambers is upheld - Others - More Sports - The Independent

Nowhere left to run as ban on Chambers is upheld

Dwain Chambers' last-ditch attempt to force his way into the British team for next month's Beijing Olympics came to an abrupt halt yesterday. The 30-year-old sprinter lost his High Court action seeking an injunction against a life ban from the Games.

Chambers completed a two-year drugs ban in 2006 but the British Olympic Association (BOA) has a by-law that renders doping offenders permanently ineligible for the Games. He faces a bleak future within the sport, but he insisted after his failed court action that it is "too early to tell" whether he would retire.

As Lord Justice Mackay embarked upon his summing up of a case that, in his own words, had been brought "at the 11th hour", the athlete – clad in the same dark suit and red tie as he had worn at the previous day's hearing – stared impassively at the glass of water on the desk in front of him.

One hour and 10 minutes later, it became clear that the beaker was half empty rather than half full. "In my judgement, it would take a much better case than the claimant has presented to persuade me to overturn the status quo at this stage and compel his selection for the Games," the judge concluded.

Chambers' legal team had challenged the by-law on the ground that it was unfair (no other country except Denmark has this rule), that it was contrary to competition law and an unreasonable restraint of trade.

But the athlete may questionhis legal advice, given that the issue of competition law was ruled to be too complex for consideration outside of Chancery Courts or a commercial court. And the belated nature of the case Chambers first proposed bringing in February, when he returned to athletics following an unsuccessful trial at Castleford Tigers rugby league club, also told crucially against him with the British team deadline falling today.

Lord Justice Mackay pointed out that other athletes had proceeded this season without expecting Chambers to be in the running for an Olympic place, adding that the BOA had been called to account just as it was completing final preparations for its Olympic team: "The delay was such that in consideration I would have denied relief on this ground alone." Ironically, the man who had just won the British Olympic trials had proved too slow off the mark.

After pointing out that the Olympics offered no reward other than medals, and that earnings produced by Olympic success were not certain, Lord Justice Mackay added: "The prospects of arguing that this is a right-to-work case are not good."

The need for Chambers to prove his case had been increased by the fact that, although both sides had agreed to contest the case more fully in March, Chambers's counsel admitted that he would not be likely to pursue the matter if he lost yesterday, or if he won. Shortly before Lord Justice Mackay brought his monologue to a close, the sprinter's counsel mouthed advice: "We've lost." Chambers reacted by raising his eyebrows and spreading his arms wide, turning half around in his seat to the friends and family sitting behind him in Court 76.

There ensued the usual bunfight on the steps of the High Court as Chambers emerged dazed on the steps, obedient to the calls from the 30 or so photographers setting their lenses aflutter.

Outside the court, the BOA's chairman, Lord Moynihan, said: "It's a matter of regret that Dwain Chambers, an athlete of such undoubted talent, should by his own actions have put himself out of the running to shine on the Olympic stage in Beijing.

"The BOA will continue to send a powerful message that nobody found guilty of serious drug-cheating offences should have the honour of wearing GB vests at the Olympic Games."

The sprinter who finished third in the trials, Craig Pickering, now moves up to one of the two automatic qualifying places and will go to Beijing.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Undergraduates will be able to study beatboxing and performance poetry at one of Europe’s leading conservatoires for the first time, after the Guildhall School of Music and Drama revealed plans for a “groundbreaking” degree course.

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week