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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 15:05 GMT
Chambers set to face track snub
Chambers will not be able to run at big events in Zurich, Oslo and Paris
Chambers will not be able to run at big events in Zurich, Oslo and Paris
Dwain Chambers may find it hard to make money from athletics after a leading promoter insisted the sprinter would not be welcome at Europe's top events.

Chambers is back competing again after serving a two-year ban for taking the performance-enhancing drug THG.

But Rajne Soderberg, whose Euromeetings Group runs 51 events across Europe, said: "We have agreed not to invite these (convicted) athletes ever again.

"These people cause the sport so much damage, it cannot be forgiven."

Chambers, 29, was handed a doping ban in 2003 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid THG.

He returned to athletics after the suspension was over and, after a brief spell playing American Football, decided he wanted to represent Great Britain again.

He eventually qualified for the World Indoor Championships in Spain by winning the 60m trials in Sheffield last weekend.

There is a lot of media attention and we would prefer to focus on the people that are not cheating

Rajne Soderberg

But any hopes he may have had of cashing in on his victorious comeback look to have been dashed by the stance of the Euromeetings Group.

The group runs 51 meetings across Europe, including the prestigious IAAF Golden League and Grand Prix meetings as well as the three major Norwich Union meetings in Glasgow on 8 June, London on 25-26 July and the Gateshead Grand Prix on 31 August.

"In October, the general assembly of the Euromeetings Group had an agreement to follow the recommendation not to invite athletes who have come back from a doping offence," Soderberg told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We do not feel it is harsh. We believe there are so many other athletes that have not been banned for a doping offence so we would rather put our money and efforts into athletes that do not have this baggage.

"There is a lot of media attention and we would prefer to focus on the people that are not cheating."

This isn't a personal thing with Dwain

Race promoter Wilfried Meert
Wilfried Meert, who organises the Brussels Golden League meeting, is one promoter who has shifted his stance on former drug cheats being allowed to compete at European meetings.

"I will not be inviting Chambers or anyone else who has been banned for cheating to my meeting," Meert said.

"Previously, I have always defended the right that an athlete should be given a second chance. My feeling was they deserved that right - but not anymore.

"This isn't a personal thing with Dwain. But recently drug cheats have dealt the sport too many blows and the time has come to try and call a halt."

Meert said Chambers will also not be welcome to run at the KBC Indoor meeting in Ghent on 24 February, the last major meeting before the World Indoor Championships from 7-9 March.

606: DEBATE
rhf
The sprinter could therefore struggle for race sharpness unless he is offered a place at other top meetings in Stockholm next Thursday or Paris the following day.

Chambers could also find himself given the cold shoulder by some of his rivals on the track.

USA Track and Field, the body that governs athletics in the United States, told BBC Sport any American athlete beaten by Chambers of any other convicted drugs cheat had every right to feel aggrieved.

"Naturally, any athlete who is subsequently, and previously, defeated by such a person often feels resentful or angry about the matter," said USATF spokesperson Jill Geer.

"It is only human to feel that way."

But she added that USATF had to be content with the current laws that allow an athlete convicted of a doping offence to return following a suspension.

"In 2003, USATF, including our athletes, strongly stated we support lifetime bans for first-time steroid offenders," said Geer.

"But that is not the rule of the World Anti-Doping Association, and we must all must abide by the rules that are in place."

The American trials for the World Indoors take place on 23 and 24 February, with reigning 60m world champion Leonard Scott among the favourites to make the team.



SEE ALSO
Chambers deserves flak - Holmes
13 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Grey Thompson to head drug review
13 Feb 08 |  Athletics
What they say about Chambers
12 Feb 08 |  Athletics
GB name Chambers in Worlds squad
12 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Chambers wins Sanderson backing
11 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Chambers should be picked - Dick
11 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Chambers gives selectors headache
11 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Steve Cram column
10 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Chambers shines on track return
03 Feb 08 |  Athletics
UKA to 'close door' on Chambers
15 Jan 08 |  Athletics
GB should pick Chambers - Holmes
18 Jun 06 |  Athletics
Chambers gets two-year ban
24 Feb 04 |  Athletics


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