Sebastian Coe and Hugh Robertson, the Olympics minister, have written to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to express their support for the British Olympic Association's lifetime bans for drug cheats.
CAS will hear the BOA's appeal against the World Anti-Doping Authority's decision to declare the British ban "non-compliant" with its anti-doping code in London in March. If the appeal is rejected the sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar will be able to compete in this summer's Games. Both are subject to life-time Olympic bans, under a BOA by-law that bars any athlete who has served a doping ban from selection for any British Olympic team.
The court's decision is due in April, which would give Chambers time to qualify through the British trials.