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Chambers comeback bid saddens Coe

5 June 2008

By Adrian Warner

London 2012 chief Lord Coe says Dwain Chambers' decision to challenge his lifetime Olympic ban in court is damaging the image of athletics.

Chambers has served a two-year ban after testing positive for steroid THG.

But the 30-year-old is challenging his lifetime ban from the Olympics in the High Court next week.

"The risk is the efforts of 99% of athletes are overshadowed by the notoriety of Dwain and other drug users," Coe told the BBC.

Chambers ran a time of 10.26 seconds on Wednesday - in his first 100m race in two years - to qualify for the British Olympic trials in Birmingham on 11 July.

But the British sprinter is currently banned from competing at this summer's Beijing Games by a British Olympic Association by-law.

Former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound told BBC Sport in March that the by-law would be extremely vulnerable to a legal challenge.

The BOA is now the only national Olympic committee to maintain such a hard-line stance.

Chambers, who recently returned to athletics after a brief but highly publicised stint in rugby league, won silver in the 60m for Britain at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year.

Lord Coe, a former Olympic gold medallist, was attending an International Olympic Committee meeting in Athens.

Chambers's case was not discussed when the double Olympic champion briefed the IOC's executive board on London's preparations for 2012.

The IOC's leadership see the case as a BOA matter.

But former IOC vice-president Anita DeFrantz, a former American Olympic rower, told BBC London: "You don't have the right to come back if you cheat.

"And why cheat? If you are a coward, that's the reason for cheating."

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