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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 15:15 GMT
Chambers gets two-year ban
Dwain Chambers arrives at his disciplinary hearing in London
British sprinter Dwain Chambers has been banned from competition for two years after being found guilty of taking the anabolic steroid THG.

Chambers, the European 100m champion, will also be prevented from competing in another Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old tested positive last August and has been suspended since November, but continues to maintain his innocence and may appeal.

He has 60 days to do so, a possibility his solicitor has not ruled out.

"Dwain has been given the minimal ban available in the circumstances and he continues to assert his innocence," said solicitor Graham Shear.

"The decision of the tribunal is being studied in detail for the purpose of considering a possible appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

The ban is backdated to 7 November, when Chambers was initially suspended.

If strict liability is to mean just that then the decision was inevitable
Lord Coe,
IAAF council member

UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft said Chambers' suspension was "a price worth paying".

"UK Athletics is proud of the fact that we conduct a full programme of in and out-of-competition testing alongside targeted testing to ensure we do all we can to protect those athletes who compete fairly," said Moorcroft.

"We are mindful of the fact that this may lead to adverse findings and that publicity resulting from a positive finding can hurt the sport.

"But we feel this is a price worth paying to keep the sport clean."

Chambers' legal team argued that THG is not specifically listed on the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) list of prohibited substances.

However, the UK Athletics Disciplinary Committee was "satisfied" that THG is "chemically or pharmacologically related" to a substance on the banned list.

Dick Pound, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said he was "pleased" at the outcome.

"Mr Chambers has the right to appeal but we are very satisfied with this first step and hope it sends a message to other athletes who would contemplate using banned substances or methods," said Pound.

"Those who cheat will be caught and will face the consequences."

Chambers, the reigning European 100m champion, won 4x100m relay gold at last summer's World Championships.

But the relay team could now lose those medals.

His former coach, Remi Korchemny, is one of four men indicted by a federal grand jury in America on charges relating to distributing steroids to athletes.

Four American athletes, including world indoor 1500m champion Regina Jacobs and shot putter Kevin Toth, tested positive for THG at last June's US Championship in Stanford.

The THG scandal broke when the United States Anti-Doping Agency was contacted by an anonymous athletics coach who claimed that several top athletes were using a banned substance.

The same coach then handed over a syringe containing THG, which USADA used to develop an effective test for the substance.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"He is allowed to appeal"


Graham Shear, Dwain Chambers' solicitor
"Dwain has been given the minimum permitted penalty"




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