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Colin Jackson against Chambers GB call

21 February 2008
bbc.co.uk

Former world hurdling champion Colin Jackson believes disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers should not be part of the Great Britain team.

UK Athletics has reluctantly selected Chambers for the World Indoor Championships in Valencia in March.

He served a two-year ban for taking the steroid tetrahydrogestrinone in 2003.

"I don't think it's good for other team members to have somebody alongside them who has that type of attitude to athletics," Jackson told BBC Sport.

"I don't think it's a healthy attitude and I don't think he should be able to pass that information on.

"I wasn't very keen on him coming back into the sport and certainly not back into the team.

"There's two parallel arguments here: whether he should be able to race on the circuit and whether he should represent Great Britain."

Chambers qualified for next month's World Indoor Championships and was included in the GB team, with UK Athletics fearing an expensive legal case if he was omitted.

The 29-year-old faces a lifetime Olympic ban and was set to launch an appeal but missed last Friday's British Olympic Association deadline.

However, there remains an opportunity for Chambers to fight the decision through the High Court.

Jackson, speaking to the BBC's Sport Wales programme, said that he was prepared to give a second chance to athletes who had "made a mistake" by misusing drugs.

But he says that the views Chambers aired last May on another BBC programme, Inside Sport, were "offensive".

"My biggest issue with him representing Great Britain is because of his comments on Inside Sport," Jackson added.

"What he did was for himself: he failed that drugs test, he took drugs and he paid the penalty for it.

"But when he virtually accused everyone else who was successful in the sport of being on drugs, and saying you cannot win without being on drugs, that's when it became very offensive to all of us at the top of our game because it's just not true.

"We've always said that there should be virtually a lifetime ban in athletics and sport in general (for using performance-enhancing drugs) - four to eight years would be ideal because that is a true deterrent."

Jackson also called for any career winnings to be confiscated if an athlete was subsequently proved to have been using performance-enhancing drugs.

Chambers already owes the International Association of Athletics Federations 100,000 GBP from prize money he had earned when using steroids.



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