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Cash row could rule out Dwain

9 June 2006

Fresh doubt has been cast on Dwain Chambers' participation in Sunday's Norwich Union British Grand Prix at Gateshead.

It was revealed yesterday that no deal has been struck with the International Association of Athletics Federations to allow Chambers to compete. And meeting organisers admit it is far from certain he will appear.

Chambers' agent, Cubie Seegobin, has declared himself "very optimistic" that his client will run at the Gateshead meeting in his first race since he failed a test for the designer steroid THG in 2003.

Reports had suggested a compromise has been agreed in principle with the IAAF, who had insisted the 28-year-old repay money he had earned in the year previous to his positive test before he would be allowed to compete.

However, it is understood no deal has been reached on how Chambers will begin reimbursing the six-figure sum he owes to the IAAF and UK Athletics.

"There is currently no deal agreed with Chambers by the IAAF," said a spokesman for the world governing body.

And UK Athletics insist the door remains firmly closed to Chambers until the IAAF give the green light.

"We are awaiting a confirmation there is a signed agreement between the IAAF and Dwain Chambers on how he can make regular repayments of the money he owes, until then we can take no further action," said Helen Wyeth, UKA's communications manager.

Fast Track, who organise domestic international meetings on behalf of UKA including Gateshead, admit the chances of Chambers racing on Sunday in an event featuring Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell seem "far from certain".

"Ours is a watching brief at present and we will take our instruction from UK Athletics," said Steve Chisholm, spokesman for Fast Track.

Meanwhile, Jason Gardener - last summer's British number one, who finished fourth in this week's Belgrade international meeting - has withdrawn from Sunday's race with a back injury.

Tim Benjamin, who topped Europe's 400 metres rankings list last year, has also pulled out after two disappointing performances in the last week.

The Welshman has decided he needs to concentrate more on training than racing after recovering from injury.

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