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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 21:55 GMT
I was in gutter, admits Chambers
By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport exclusive

Dwain Chambers
Dwain Chambers has told BBC Sport he has no-one to blame but himself after revealing that his two-year doping suspension blew his life apart.

In his first interview since being banned for taking the designer steroid THG, he said: "I was in the gutter.

"Everything I worked for since I was 14 years old had totally vanished."

The Briton is poised to race again, but he confessed: "I can only hope that the drug is out of my system and hasn't caused too much physical damage."

Chambers tested positive for THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) on 1 August 2003.

Not only was he banned for two years on 7 November that year, he was also subsequently stripped of the 4x100m relay silver medal he won at the 2003 World Championships.

Under British Olympic Association rules, he will not be allowed to compete at a future Olympic Games either.

But it could get even worse for the 27-year-old Londoner before it gets better.

I've come to terms with what has happened and I'm blessed that I have the opportunity to come back and make amends
Dwain Chambers

He could also lose the individual and relay gold medals he won at the 2002 European Championships as well as his British record of 9.87 seconds, set in September later that year.

That is because he has also revealed to BBC Sport that he was taking THG a full 18 months before he was caught.

Chambers is philosophical about the possibility of losing more accolades.

"There's nothing I can do about it," he said.

"I've come to terms with what has happened and I'm blessed that I have the opportunity to come back and make amends.

THG EXPLAINED
Tetrahydrogestrinone is a banned steroid which was tweaked by chemists to make it undetectable by normal dope tests
Steroids can improve the body's capacity to train and compete at the highest level
They also promote the development of muscle tissue in the body, with an associated increase in strength and power
A test for THG was developed in June 2003

"I don't believe THG had anything to do with the fact that I ran 9.87 seconds.

"That came about because I was in a world record race and was dragged along."

Chambers started taking THG after switching his training base to California at the start of 2002.

There he worked with veteran coach Remi Korchemny, who introduced him to Victor Conte, a self-made nutritional expert and founder of the pharmaceutical company Balco.

It was Conte who supplied Chambers with THG.

"I took THG, but I didn't know what its gains and benefits were," said the Briton.

I was very foolish not to ask certain questions about THG
Dwain Chambers

"THG came in liquid form and you put a few drops under your tongue three to four times a week.

"I was a bit suspicious about why you would put it under your tongue, but Victor explained it was a new product on the market that would aid me nutritionally, so I went forward with it.

"Nutrition wasn't something I was interested in, so when he was explaining all this scientific jargon to me about THG and various other supplements, it came in one ear and fell out of the other.


"In hindsight I was very foolish not to ask certain questions about THG, but no-one had ever heard of it before so I didn't see any reason to question it.

"But there's nobody else I can blame, for the simple reason that I made those decisions to go forward as I did.

"Despite my suspicions, I still went forward and did it."

Conte also supplied Kelli White, the double world sprint champion who, like Chambers, was also handed a two-year doping ban.

And Conte himself is now serving a four-month prison sentence for his role in a scheme to give athletes undetectable performance-enhancing drugs.

As for Chambers, he is now focusing on a return to the track after a short-lived and unsuccessful attempt to forge a career in American Football.

TARGET DATES FOR CHAMBERS
12 Feb: Indoor AAAs/British trials, Sheffield
18 Feb: Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham
10-12 March: World Indoors, Moscow

He will be free to compete again when he has taken and passed three new dope tests - which is expected to happen by the end of January.

He has been training in Jamaica with Glen Mills, coach to Kim Collins - the man who beat him to Commonwealth 100m gold in 2002 and the world title a year later.

Both athlete and coach say they are very pleased with the progress made, and as a result Chambers will try to make the British team for March's World Indoor championships.

With selection for March's Commonwealth Games already decided, the obvious target after that is the defence of his European crown in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August.

I need to get some money back in my pocket because I'm broke
Dwain Chambers

"Mentally I'm fine now but I'm not sure how my body's going to cope when I get back on the track," said Chambers.

"I miss competing and that's made me determined to come back and have fun on the track again."

And he added: "I need to get some money back in my pocket because I'm broke. I have to earn a living."

He is also keen to make amends to the people he let down, particularly Marlon Devonish, Christian Malcolm and Darren Campbell, who also lost their relay silver medals because of his drugs taking.

"If there's an opportunity for me to make it up to them, I want to take it," said Chambers.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Dwain Chambers


Exclusive: Dwain Chambers speaks to the BBC



SEE ALSO
Campbell backs 'wrecked' Chambers
07 Nov 05 |  Athletics
Balco boss begins jail sentence
18 Oct 05 |  Athletics
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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