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Chambers is given track lifeline

20 December 2006
bbc.co.uk

UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins insists British sprinter Dwain Chambers could still have an international athletics career.

The 28-year-old, who has returned to action after a two-year drugs ban, may quit the sport as he has to pay back prize money from future track earnings.

But Collins says Chambers would be given a chance to prove himself for the World Championships in Osaka next year.

"His conviction is spent. Would I pick him? Yes I would," said Collins.

Chambers failed a test for the banned steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) in 2003.

He was banned for two years in February 2004 and returned to the track in June this year before being selected for this year's European Championships in Gothenburg.

The former European 100m champion came seventh in the 100m and was a member of the squad that won the 4x100m relay gold, although Darren Campbell refused to join in the celebrations.

Chambers joined an NFL football camp in November as he looked to a new career in American Football.

And his agent Cubie Seegobin says that Chambers may now not return as has to pay back any prize money he won while competing on steroids from future track earnings.

But Collins said: "I've had one conversation with him and we discussed what his status with athletics would be if he made the move."

"I would suggest everything is on hold for the moment - he's pursuing a new line and let's see where the line leads."

"Rules are rules and obviously if he still wants to compete, he would have to fulfil the stringent testing procedures and other commitments."

The doping violation means that Chambers is now banned for life from the Olympics and Collins is well aware that the Londoner must not prevent youngsters from making Team GB.

"We have to weigh that up obviously," added Collins.

"It's awkward, there are developing athletes coming through and we're looking forward to developing them which is part of our programme."

Chambers has been invited back for a further session with NFL Europe in January.

If he makes it through that he will join a six-week camp in Florida which could see him allocated to one of six teams - Amsterdam Admirals, Berlin Thunder, Cologne Centurions, Frankfurt Galaxy, Hamburg Sea Devils or Rhein Fire.



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