Dwain Chambers says he has put his drug shame behind him and is proud to be able to compete again.
The Islington-born athlete was barred from the Olympics after being caught taking a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, but went on to overturn the ban after a legal battle.
Now he says he is determined to set an example by doing things the right way.
Chambers, 34, said: “I caused a lot of damage and burned a lot of bridges. My journey now is just to try to set the right example, not just to myself but the youngsters in sport, the people who come out and support the sport. I’ve got those bridges to mend because those are the individuals that I hurt the most.
“My parents, my friends, my family, I hurt them — I’m on a mission to try and mend things and at the same time run well.”
Chambers, a married father of two, was educated at Enfield College, then lived in Ilford before living and training in the US and Jamaica. He was nicknamed “The Finsbury Flyer” as a young runner, breaking the world junior 100-metre record in 1997.
But after a season’s best performance in 2003, he was caught by an out-of-competition drugs test.
Chambers said that despite the criticism of him, he has received strong support on the athletics track. He said: “I’ve got a lot of good support and cheers when I’ve gone out there and competed in front of a British crowd and that in itself is a good feeling, it’s rewarding.
“It’s more than a dream come true because it’s not something I believed was going to happen. So it is an honour to able to put on my best again and feel proud of what I’m doing.”
He added: “My fellow athletes support me, I support them and it’s put me in a position where I’m eligible to go to an Olympic Games and compete and win medals for our country.
“Many years ago I made a bad decision, I’m not going to blame anybody else for that.
“I had to go through a process of just figuring out how I was going to do better.”
- More about:
- Athletics, Track And Field
- Higher Education
- Olympic Stadium
- Performance-Enhancing Drugs