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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 06:46 GMT
BOA defends ban stance
Dwain Chambers arrives at his disciplinary hearing in London
The British Olympic Association says its lifetime drugs ban will stand up to any challenge from Dwain Chambers.

The BOA's stance comes after reports suggested that the sprinter could appeal against his Olympic ban.

"We believe our by-law is enshrined under the Olympic Charter and wait to see whether it's challenged," said BOA spokesman Philip Pope.

"We believe that the athletes and the British public understand there must be a tough line on doping in Britain."

"We are not judging whether a doping offence has been committed, we are simply enforcing our right under the charter to select our own Olympic team.

"Clearly we are very disappointed when anyone tests positive, particularly somebody as prominent as Dwain Chambers.

"But we believe that the public have sympathy for our approach and that our by-law continues to be correct."

Chambers was found guilty of testing positive for the designer steroid THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) following an out-of-competition test in Germany last August.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport looks needs to be satisfied that the punishment fits the crime
Ian Blackshaw

If the sprinter was to appeal against his Olympic ban then he would have to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ian Blackshaw - an arbitrator for the CAS who is also a member of the International Sports Law Centre in the Hague and of the UK Sports Dispute Resolution Panel - feels Chambers will attempt to clear his name.

"I think it is very likely that he will. He certainly has absolutely nothing to lose by doing so," Blackshaw told BBC Radio Four's Today Programme.

"I think he has got no chance at all on the conviction. The fact that he took the substance unwittingly does not help at all because of the rule of strict liability.

"There maybe the possibility on the grounds that THG, at the time of the positive test, was not on the banned list.

"It is a case of UK Athletics proving that THG has a similar nature or pharmacological effect to the other substances that are not on the banned list."

CAS arbitrator Ian Blackshaw
"Chambers has nothing to lose"

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