Paula Radcliffe has refused to criticise the controversial inclusion of Dwain Chambers in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland European Cup team.
Radcliffe could defend her European 10,000m crown in August
The long-distance star is known for her strong anti-drugs views, but she has refused to be drawn into a row ahead of the meeting in Malaga next week.
"People do deserve a second chance, those are the rules," she said.
"Dwain has served his time. The most important thing is that we have a unified team that performs well."
Chambers was banned for two years after being found guilty of taking the anabolic steroid THG but returned to action in Gateshead earlier this month.
He clocked 10.07 seconds for the 100m on his competitive return, finishing third behind race winner Asafa Powell, who equalled his world record of 9.77.
Now Chambers, whose time made him the quickest in Europe this year, has been named in the GB squad for the Malaga event.
"You have to give him credit because he is one of the few people that have stood up and said, 'I was guilty and this is what I did'," Radcliffe told Five Live.
I'm not doing anything silly or pushing my foot too hard
"I think that if you willingly and deliberately cheat, cheat other athletes, the public and the sport, then you probably should be banned for life.
"But there are also the cases where you are never really sure if someone is guilty. Was it a mistake, did they did they take an over-the-counter remedy? Then they could find themselves banned for life.
"It's a very difficult issue. The most important thing is that we concentrate on improving the testing procedure so that the cheats are caught."
Radcliffe is nearing full fitness after being forced to miss the Commonwealth Games and the London Marathon because of a foot injury.
But the 32-year-old, who had an operation in April to remove an enlarged nerve, is refusing to set a comeback date.
"My fitness is definitely coming back," said the marathon world record-holder.
"I'm back to normal training now and I was back on the track this week as well. It's just a case of being patient this year.
"I'm not doing anything silly or pushing my foot too hard. Everybody is really pleased with how it is.
"It's almost back to 100% so it's a matter of seeing how long it will take to come back to racing shape. I will race when I am ready."