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Wells issues Chambers ultimatum

16 February 2008
bbc.co.uk

Allan Wells has threatened to sever ties with the British Olympic Association if sprinter Dwain Chambers is allowed to run in Beijing.

Wells, who won the 100 metres for Great Britain at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, insists the BOA must stand by their firm anti-drugs stance.

"The BOA need to stick to this route that they have taken and not allow him to run at the Olympics," Wells said.

"I would walk away from helping the BOA if Chambers runs at the Olympics."

Scottish sprinter Wells was upset by remarks Chambers made in a television interview last year that for a clean athlete to win an Olympic gold a drug user would need "to be having a really bad day".

Chambers, who was banned from athletics for two years after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug THG, is due to run for Britain at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia next month.

"I'm doing quite a few things with the BOA, we're talking about social things, and I certainly wouldn't be happy to continue doing these social things if the BOA allow him to run in the Olympics," Wells said.

"There are rules and regulations and the BOA have always said anyone caught using illegal substances will not be allowed to run at an Olympics.

"I think that is something we've got to accept and hopefully that rule won't be overturned."

Wells stressed that after Chambers revealed his attitude to drug-taking on the BBC's Inside Sport in May last year the sprinter would never be welcome in athletics.

"Obviously to come out strongly and say he shouldn't run full stop, it's too late to do that," Wells continued.

"We've got to accept he can run - under certain circumstances he can run.

"But if people don't want him to run at an individual event then he's got to accept that and I think he's got to accept the position he's put himself in.

"Basically he said, not in these exact words, that to win an Olympic gold medal you have to take drugs.

"It's not the message that we want to hear."

UK Athletics had opposed the selection of Chambers for the three-day event in Valencia because of his doping past.

But the 29-year-old Londoner won last weekend's trials in Sheffield, giving team bosses little choice but to pick him.

Chambers insists he is now a clean athlete after testing positive for THG, an anabolic steroid, in 2003.

But Wells concluded that the controversial athlete would never be above suspicion as long as he continued to be successful on the track.

"He came out on Sunday and he tore everybody to ribbons physically," Wells said.

"I think it's made one or two prominent coaches stand up and ask the questions - 'What's going on?', 'Who's helping him?', 'What is he doing?'.

"And it's certainly leaving doubts in people's minds even now."

"I've met Dwain a couple of times and I don't understand him," Wells added.

"I've not understood the attitude that he's had towards the drugs in sport, his flippant attitude towards it.

"And I think that is getting up the backs of people who are prominently involved in the sport.

"It's something they obviously don't want in the sport and because they don't want it in the sport I think they don't want him in the sport. It's as simple as that."



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