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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 17:45 GMT
Cram: Dwain's ban is right decision
Steve Cram
By Steve Cram
BBC Sport

First and foremost, Dwain Chambers' two-year ban for taking THG was the right decision.

It was a bad day for athletics when news first broke of his positive test. But today is a day to feel relieved.

"Relieved" because all the evidence is beginning to come out, because the ban sends the right message to other cheats, and because the whole sorry episode can now begin to draw to a close.

All athletes know how the strict liability rule works
Steve Cram
As for Dwain, well, I don't like to use the word "disaster", but it will be very hard for him to come back now.

I don't have much sympathy with the argument that he might not have known what he was taking. He might not have done, but that is no excuse.

All athletes know how the strict liability rule works. You are responsible for what is in your body.

Athletes have been warned time and time again not to take any supplements. If you then choose to do so, you are not left with any excuses if you then test positive.

If I were an athlete today, I would be incredibly careful what I ate and drank. I certainly wouldn't take any sort of supplement.

Every time anyone tests positive they try to claim that they have no idea how the substance got into their body. It's an argument that just doesn't stand up any more.

Even if you want to believe that Dwain didn't know what he was taking, somebody very close to him did.

And you should be very careful who you put your trust in when your entire career is at stake.

The responsibility is yours. It is your destiny you are looking after. You pick your coach, you pick the team around you.

Dwain Chambers
Chambers is one of the highest profile UK stars ever to test positive

If you want any help on what you can and cannot take, it is there for you.

There are nutritionists and scientists employed by sport's governing bodies who will give you advice.

No matter where you are in the world, at whatever time of day, you can access UK Sport's website and look at the enormous wealth of information there.

Should Dwain appeal? That is up to him and his legal team.

But his chances of getting off are not good unless new evidence comes to light.

Given that this is all part of the ongoing court case in the USA into the THG scandal, there is only likely to be more evidence that it was part of a systematic doping plan.

There is no mystery as to where THG came from.

The good news is that, for the first time, a coach blew the whistle on a doping scandal and a major doping product is now off the market.

It is not a black day for athletics.





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