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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 06:49 GMT
Campbell backs 'wrecked' Chambers
By Tom Fordyce

Darren Campbell
Campbell preceded Chambers as European 100m champion
Darren Campbell says Dwain Chambers should be welcomed back when the disgraced sprinter's doping ban ends.

Chambers will be free to compete early next year after serving his two-year suspension for taking the steroid THG.

Campbell said: "As a human you have to forgive and forget. If he hadn't been punished you could feel bitter, but what happened wrecked him as a person.

"I know he was rock-bottom. To even contemplate coming back to the sport, I can only wish him the best of luck."

Campbell lost his 2003 World 4x100m silver medal when relay team-mate Chambers was later shown to have tested positive.

But the former European 100m champion is standing by his former team-mate.

If he (Dwain) wins medals for the country, I will applaud that
Darren Campbell

"I can see how Dwain got caught up in it," Campbell told BBC Sport.

"If he trusted people and they told him, 'There's nothing in this, there's nothing wrong with this,' why would he not believe them?

"Don't think it's only Dwain's fault. Let's be totally honest - if you go to the doctor and he says 'take this', are you going to argue with him?

"He's not going to think that they've given him something illegal.

"Everybody makes mistakes. We come into athletics and yes, it's strict liability, but we all make mistakes.

"You have to trust somebody. Paula Radcliffe has to trust somebody about her nutrition. To say, don't trust anybody - that's unrealistic."

Chambers left former coach Mike McFarlane at the end of 2002 to go to work with new coach Remi Korchemny in California.

He tested positive for the designer steroid THG in August 2003, just one of several big-name stars to be caught up in the scandal.

Victor Conte, founder of Balco, the company who produced the THG, was sentenced in October to a four-month prison sentence for drugs offences. Korchemny is awaiting his own sentence.

Campbell said: "We are all accountable for our actions, but you have to look outside the box and ask - who were the people advising Dwain?

"I can see how he ended up there, how he trusted people. If you pass drug tests, when would you think it was illegal?

"He did drug tests and passed them, so I can see how it spiralled and he got caught up in it, and before he knew it, he was in problems.

"He's paid his dues. He's a young man who I believe got caught up in something that was bigger than he ever imagined.

"I think a lot of people turned their backs on him. We fail to remember that he was only a young man, and that he didn't take himself over to America.

"To be at the top, and to be admired by so many people, and then for so many people to hate you and dislike you, you've served a heavy punishment.

"If he goes on and wins medals for his country, then he's served his due. If he wins medals for the country, I will applaud that."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: GB sprinter Darren Campbell



SEE ALSO
Chambers return runs into delay
28 Oct 05 |  Athletics
Coach pleads guilty in Balco case
30 Jul 05 |  Athletics
Collins calls for Chambers return
16 Feb 05 |  Athletics
Chambers gets two-year ban
24 Feb 04 |  Athletics


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