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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 13:44 GMT
Chambers row sparks rules rethink
Dwain Chambers
Chambers's return to the circuit has upset many fellow athletes
Chief executive Niels de Vos has vowed to restructure UK Athletics' selection policy to prevent a repeat of the Dwain Chambers competition row.

Insufficient legal grounds ensured UKA had to allow Chambers, who has served a two-year drugs ban, to compete for a spot at the World Indoor Championships.

UKA tried to prevent him running as he has not had a drugs test since 2006.

"I need to frame our governance rules so that we can maintain a right of selection," De Vos told BBC Sport.

"And I must do so in such a way that the law cannot unpick that right."

Chambers' legal team threatened to take action if he was not allowed to run and so the 29-year-old will compete at the World Indoor trials and national championships in Sheffield this weekend.


"A letter from Mr. De Vos confirmed Dwain's entry for the trials and also stated that he would be eligible to run for Britain at the World Indoor Championships," Chambers' solicitor Nick Collins told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If Dwain wins and is not included in the team for Valencia then I would be astonished and disappointed. We would review the situation and certainly be mounting a legal challenge. But that is unilkely in light of the letter I received from Mr De Vos."

Victory for the sprinter in Sheffield is expected to guarantee Chambers a place at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia from 7-9 March.

However, De Vos is concerned that Chambers running could harm public opinion of the sport, saying: "My view is not about an individual but about the sport and how it's very, very important the sport is clean.

"The Marion Jones scandal, for example, has a serious chance of undermining the sport.

"That's wrong in the UK, where our athletes are the most tested sports people in the world, but we have to do what we can to be seen to be clean to maintain the public's support.

"This isn't a personal crusade by me against an athlete, or indeed by UK Athletics. But there is a wind of change (against drug users) blowing through the sport."

And De Vos admitted he did not subscribe to the view that once athletes found guilty of drug abuse had served their suspension, they should be allowed to compete immediately.

"I'm not sure it's sport's responsibility to rehabilitate individuals in quite the same way as it is in other areas of public life," he said.

I'm all for a lifetime ban

Jason Gardener

"I just want our body to be able to maintain its right to select whoever we choose for our national teams.

"No-one would dream of telling Fabio Capello or Brian Ashton that the law means you will pick this individual and yet that's the situation athletics finds itself in. I find that wholly bizarre."

Meanwhile, Athens Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Jason Gardener believes lifetime bans should be introduced for doping cheats in athletics.

"I'm not happy with the amount of drug taking in our sport and in other sports," the 32-year-old from Bath told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I was deprived of the chance to compete at the 2003 World Championships by Dwain because he took up one of the qualifying spots - a few months later he was banned.

"I think we need to have a global policy to make punishments more severe. I'm all for a lifetime ban."

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03 Feb 08 |  Athletics
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30 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Chambers blocked from GB trials
26 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Chambers comeback claims quashed
16 Jan 08 |  Athletics
UKA to 'close door' on Chambers
15 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Disgraced Chambers to make return
14 Jan 08 |  Athletics
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01 Jun 07 |  American Football
Chambers to race for GB in Euros
29 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Chambers returns to Britain team
21 Jun 06 |  Athletics
Chambers gets two-year ban
24 Feb 04 |  Athletics


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