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Chambers 'must help drugs fight'

By Matt Slater
Internet sports writer of the year

Dwain Chambers
Chambers has said he wants to champion drug-free sport

The head of Britain's anti-doping body has called on Dwain Chambers to provide inside information that might help in the fight against drugs cheats.

UK Sport's John Scott told BBC Sport that Chambers could and should do more.

"He says he made mistakes but there has not been a willingness to point fingers at those who helped him or to be honest about the drugs he was on," said Scott.

Sprinter Chambers, 29, served a two-year ban from athletics after failing a drugs test in 2003.

He won a 60m silver at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia earlier this month but Scott added: "It has been a long time since Dwain was caught and there has been no effort by him to actually share information."

But his presence in the Great Britain team was highly contentious and it is something of an understatement to say that not everybody involved in athletics in his home nation is pleased by his return.

We need much more cooperation from those that have been caught

UK Sport's John Scott

Speaking after his success in Spain, Chambers told reporters he was eager to put his controversial past behind him and added that he wanted to help the anti-doping cause.

And in an interview with The Voice newspaper this week, Chambers said: "Drugs made my life hell - it was difficult, very difficult.

"I needed to get it off my shoulders because I felt I was living a lie and I didn't want to continue living that way.

I wanted to be able to walk on the street, tell people I did it, why I did it, and why they shouldn't do it. There are a lot of people who can't do that.

I ain't lying about anything now and that was the point of coming clean. I can look people in the eye and I have been straight with everything."

According to Scott, the director of drug-free sport at UK Sport, Chambers is talking the talk but not walking the walk.

Matt Slater

"We've put out informal feelers (to him) through the sport since his pronouncements but at the moment we've heard nothing," stated Scott.

Chambers' lawyer Nick Collins has so far declined to comment.

The former junior world 100m record-holder is currently in talks with his legal team over an expected High Court challenge to a lifetime ban from the Olympics.

Chambers was actually the first athlete to fail a test for the previously undetectable steroid THG. That test, administered by the United States anti-doping authorities at a track meeting in Britain, was only developed after a tip-off from a rival coach.

Scott believes this kind of intelligence is invaluable to anti-doping regimes and is convinced of the need for a smarter approach to testing.

Dwain Chambers
Chambers' Valencia performance proved what he is capable of clean

"There's a place for random testing, to send out a deterrent message, but the most effective form of testing is targeted testing," commented Scott.

"We have to get much more sophisticated about how we assemble information so we know when is best to test somebody - when we're most likely to catch them with something in their system - and that we're testing in a way that can catch those around the athlete as well.

"We need much more cooperation from those who have been caught and are prepared to share knowledge with us but one of the biggest challenges is that the natural reaction of any athlete that has been caught is denial."

Scott said he welcomed recent World Anti-Doping Agency proposals to provide convicted drugs cheats with the incentive of lesser sentences if they co-operate fully with the authorities."

"We have to get hold of that sort of information - it's just pointless doing hundreds of thousands tests that aren't catching the cheats," he said.

"We are interested in what Chambers took, when he took it, why he took it then and what were the benefits - this is the sort of stuff that is needed if you are going to improve your testing programme."

see also
BBC writer wins journalism award
18 Mar 08 |  Sport Homepage
Drugs cheat Lombard quits running
14 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Olympic chief to take on Chambers
13 Mar 08 |  Olympics
Olympic events 'damaged' by drugs
10 Mar 08 |  Inside Sport
Chambers hints at quitting sport
08 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Chambers 'in right frame of mind'
06 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Pound gives Chambers Olympic hope
05 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Rodgers targets 'dirty' Chambers
04 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Conte lambasts athletics bosses
01 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Balco star urges Chambers to sue
28 Feb 08 |  Athletics
UK Athletics faces Chambers flak
28 Feb 08 |  Athletics
New body to tackle UK drug cheats
05 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage

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