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Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Chambers defends book revelations

I will not speak about drugs again - Chambers

Sprinter Dwain Chambers has defended the decision to discuss the likes of Christine Ohuruogu in his autobiography on the eve of a major championships.

Chambers, who tested positive in 2003, is with the Great Britain team in Turin for the European Indoor Championships.

Extracts from his book have been published criticising Sebastian Coe and questioning Olympic champion Ohuruogu.

But Chambers felt it was the right time to get closure on his past, saying: "If I don't put a stop to it, nobody will."

Chambers, 31, served a two-year ban after he tested positive in 2003 and is banned from competing at the Olympic Games.

I don't think she's got anything to hide, I think it was an honest mistake

Chambers on Ohuruogu
He has struggled to be accepted back into the sport and said the book was his way of closing the door on the subject of drugs.

"In order for it to end, it has to end from me only," he said. "And if I brought it out in the middle of the season I would have still had complaints about the timing of it.

"If I don't put a stop to it, nobody will. I just felt that it was the right time to do it. I think the sport needs to move on and I need to move on, and I made it very clear we need to put an end to this.

"It's just the way it has fallen for us and I wanted the opportunity to use it as closure."

Asked specifically about his decision to release the extracts on the eve of a championships, Chambers added: "The book was meant to come out beforehand and I thought out of respect for the athletes I would backdate it to after the championships.

"There was no better time to bring it out than after my success in the European Championships, and while the situation is still ripe in terms of the amount of attention it created.

"As far as I'm concerned once this European Indoors is past and the book comes out Monday morning, that's it.

"Any unanswered questions that anybody has they'll be able to read and understand it Monday morning and as far as I'm concerned, that chapter of my life is closed."

In his book, he described British Olympic 400m champion Ohuruogu - who is not part of the Great Britain squad in Turin - as being "naive" for missing three out-of-competition drugs test in 2006.

"I will go on record and say that any athlete who misses three tests has to be very naive or has something to hide," he said.

But asked about the statement on BBC Radio 5 Live, Chambers insisted: "I haven't said anything different about her from anyone else, and I'm sure she has said the same about me.

"I'm not in any way accusing her of anything. That's how it comes across but it's not an accusation.

Obviously sometimes it can be a hassle but it is a small price to pay to work towards clean sport

Paula Radcliffe on the 'whereabouts' system
"I don't think she's got anything to hide, I think it was an honest mistake, and that is what I've alluded to with my statement."

Chambers is one of Britain's medal hopes in the 60m at this weekend's European Indoor Championships.

Following the comments, UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commonee has said he will hold talks with Chambers on Sunday.

"From what I gathered we may have to go into issues like how you cope with team-mates, respect and all these things," said Van Commenee.

He added: "I will sit down and talk about issues like respect, acceptance, maybe insinuations, that is not only triggered by the book but what happened over the last few years. We have to respect the sport."

Chambers has backed the new World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) drug-testing programme and believes he would have been caught sooner had the current system been in place.

Wada has introduced stringent new guidelines which have been criticised by some.

Asked whether he would have been able to get away without being detected now, Chambers told BBC Radio 5 Live: "No, definitely not.

"It took a situation like mine in order for the system to be corrected and updated and better.

"They have to know about our whereabouts all the time so it reduces the chances for anyone having a positive test."

Under Wada's rules, athletes on the national testing register must be available to testers for an hour a day, between 6am-11pm, three months in advance.

Tennis stars Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have joined other sports stars in criticising the "whereabouts" system.

But Paula Radcliffe has defended the programme, saying it is necessary to ensure world sport is free of cheats.

"It is fine, a system I am used to," said Radcliffe, who is a member of the IAAF's athletes commission.

"Obviously sometimes it can be a hassle but it is a small price to pay to work towards clean sport."

see also
Chambers and Farah head GB hopes
05 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Chambers included in GB Euro team
24 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Chambers would give up relay spot
01 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Chambers regrets drug 'honesty'
09 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics

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