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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 13:55 GMT
Chambers deserves flak - Holmes
Dame Kelly Holmes
Holmes believes the inclusion of Chambers sets a bad example
Dame Kelly Holmes has rejected claims from sprinter Dwain Chambers that he is being made to feel like a "leper".

Chambers, a convicted drugs cheat, protested about his treatment after earning a place in Great Britain's team for the World Indoor Championships.

But an indignant Holmes told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He is being treated in the way he deserves to be treated.

"He needs to start looking at himself and realise why people don't believe he should be in the sport."

Chambers was handed a two-year ban from athletics in 2003 after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug THG.

He eventually returned to the track in 2006 and helped GB win 4x100m gold at the European Championships in Gothenburg.

When you take drugs in sport, you are cheating yourself, your fans, your competitors and the system

Dame Kelly Holmes

At the time, Holmes welcomed Chambers back into the fold, but now she has urged him to quit in order to save the sport from further embarrassment.

"We believed him when he said it was a mistake," said the double Olympic gold medallist.

"That was before it came out that he had taken this drug knowingly.

"He has changed in his demeanour and his attitude to the sport. I haven't changed my view about drug cheats.

"I believed there was a big mistake but then he admitted he had taken drugs. That changes your view about a person."

Chambers's inclusion in the squad for the championships in Valencia next month sparked an angry reaction when it was announced by UK Athletics (UKA) on Tuesday.

UKA admitted it had not wanted to select the 29-year-old Londoner but said it had no choice after his dominant 60m victory in the trials last weekend.

Holmes, who won 1500m and 800m gold at the Athens Games in 2004, also believes he should not be allowed to run again for his country.

"He got caught out and served a two-year ban, which was right, but he has also said that no-one can win a medal unless they have taken drugs," added the 37-year-old.

"When you take drugs in sport, you are cheating yourself, your fans, your competitors and the system. Any athlete that has taken drugs should not be allowed to run again."

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15 Jan 08 |  Athletics
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