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Ruling will go my way - Chambers

13 July 2008
bbc.co.uk

By Mark Ashenden

Controversial sprinter Dwain Chambers believes he will be allowed to compete in Beijing after winning the 100m title at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.

He expects to receive a High Court injunction against his lifetime Olympic ban for drug offences on Wednesday, forcing British selectors to pick him.

"I strongly believe the decision will go in our favour and I can go and have some fun in Beijing," said Chambers.

"I'm in good shape and it will be a shame if I don't go."

Chambers, 30, clocked 10.00 seconds to underline his status as British number one, with Simeon Williamson finishing second in a lifetime best of 10.03 and Craig Pickering in third.

Great Britain selectors are due to announce the majority of their athletics squad on Monday but may delay naming their sprint team until after the High Court ruling.

Under their own selection policy, they are bound to pick the athletes who finish first and second at the trials if they have the Olympic qualifying standard.

Chambers, Williamson, Pickering and fourth-placed Tyrone Edgar have already clocked the required mark of 10.21 this season.

There are three individual places up for grabs in total, as well as spots in the 4x100m relay team.

Chambers believes he has done enough to claim one of them.

"I have a confident mind, and no matter what negatives I am up against, I have to think one way and one way only," said the Londoner.

"I needed Williamson to do what he did in order to get the best out of myself. It bodes well for what potentially could be a good Beijing for us."

Williamson, the European Under-23 champion, flew out of the blocks ahead of Chambers and pushed him all the way to finish with a stunning new personal best.

Chambers was buoyant after the final

"It felt good," said the 22-year-old. "I have been running very well and I'm just trying to learn not to look around and concentrate on what I've got to do.

"But it felt easy. I knew I was going to run quick, but not that quick."

The decision of Chambers to challenge his Olympic ban has not gone down well in some circles.

Steve Backley, a double Olympic javelin silver medallist, is not happy at the prospect of Chambers being part of the British team at the Games.

"I understand people have to survive, but when it's to the detriment of other people and the profile of the sport, it is wholly inappropriate," Backley told BBC Sport.

"We need to protect the integrity of the sport.

"We, as a nation, have a unique stance that clearly said - and clearly made the point before Chambers decided to systematically cheat - that if you take drugs you won't be eligible for an Olympics.

"He knew that. He then comes back to challenge something that has always been the case, and I find that very difficult to handle.

"It's a very selfish act and very thick-skinned of him to follow through and challenge the fabric of a sport that has been so giving.

"I find it a very tough thing to swallow for anyone who has cheated and been so overtly willing to court the press and wallow in that whole environment."

Alan Wells, who won gold for Britain in the 100m at the 1980 Olympics, agrees with Backley's stance and is fully behind the British Olympic Association's (BOA) by-law.

"A lot of athletes have tested positive in the past but we understand the rules and regulations of the BOA policy before we step on the track," Wells told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"I support the BOA in this instance. There's a moral issue behind this. Athletes in this country know the BOA policy.

"Here's an athlete who flaunted that policy and that's one of the things that's irritating most of the past Olympic gold medalists and champions.

"His attitude has not been morally sensitive. He feels he's got to cross the next bridge and has said certain things which seem to be sincere - but deep down inside he's focused on running what he wants to run in.

"If he wins the case it'll be a loss to athletics. It's a sensitive situation morally and would be sad for Olympics in this country."

However, double Olympic gold medallist Ed Moses has backed Chambers' right to run in Beijing.

The American, who won the 400m hurdles at the 1976 and 1980 games, told Sportsweek: "It's almost like a death sentence.

"We have to deal with this problem where a national ruling body has rules that are more restrictive than the IOC.

"You have to be fair to the athletes and there will be other athletes in China who have tested positive in the past.

"I don't like the fact that Dwain has had a positive test but from an athletes' rights point of view you have to stand up for him on this matter."



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