ATHLETICS WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Aspire Dome, Doha Date: 12-14 March
Chambers just missed out on gold at the World Indoors two years ago
Dwain Chambers' hopes of gold at this weekend's World Indoor Championships have been boosted with the withdrawal of leading American Ivory Williams.
Williams, the world's fastest over 60m this year in 6.49 seconds, has been given a three-month doping suspension.
He tested positive for Carboxy THC, a marijuana metabolite, at the US trials.
Chambers, who won world indoor silver in 2008 and ran 6.50 last month, said: "Hopefully my experience will pull me into the final and get the win."
Williams, a former world junior champion, was regarded as one of the favourites for 60m gold in Doha, Qatar.
But the 24-year-old was pulled out of the event by USA Track and Field after his positive test at the US indoor championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 28 February.
Because marijuana and similar cannabinoids are listed as specified substances, a reduced sanction from the standard two-year ban is possible.
Williams began a three-month suspension on Tuesday, the day he accepted the sanction, and all of his results from the US meet were forfeited.
"It is unfortunate," Williams's manager Ray Flynn said. "It was poor judgment and he acknowledges that and to my knowledge has accepted the A sample (as positive)."
Chambers was banned for two years in 2003 for a positive drug test, but is delighted to be back in the Great Britian team and enjoying the support of UK Athletics ahead of a season that also includes the European Championships in Barcelona in July.
"A lot has happened in the past and I want to just use this opportunity to put all that behind me, use this as a fresh start for everybody," added the 31-year-old.
"So for me to be accepted here is a great feeling. It's great to be here talking about the prospects for 2010 and to start in Doha."
The championships start on Friday in Qatar with the men's 60m heats kicking off at around 1200 GMT, culminating with Saturday's final at 1550 GMT.
In the absence of the world's three fastest men - world and Olympic outdoors champion Usain Bolt, American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Asafa Powell - the United States team would have hoped for high podium positions for Williams and compatriot Michael Rodgers.
However, with Williams being replaced by Trell Kimmons, who finished third in the US trials, Chambers now has a strong chance of going one better than the silver he shared with Kim Collins after a dead heat in Spain two years ago, behind the Nigerian winner Olusoji Fasuba.
Chambers, who will be partnered in the British team by former world junior 100m and 200m Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, became the world's third fastest ever over 60m when he clocked 6.42 secs in Turin to be crowned European Indoor champion a year ago.
Despite his excellent winter form, he insists: "I have to refocus again. Going in with the fastest time in the world you think you are ahead of the field and everybody but I've got to use my brain a little bit smarter about how I approach this situation.
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"It's just a case of getting back into the system again, running, enjoying it. It's been a long time and this is the start of a new era for me.
"You know, a few more years and that's it, I'll be tired out, but during that time I'm going to make sure I inspire many people, especially young athletes like Harry [Aikines-Aryeetey]."
Despite the withdrawal of World outdoors triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, Britain still have big medal hopes among their 36-strong squad.
World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has overcome a niggling leg injury and will be a hot favourite in the pentathlon.
Meanwhile Jenny Meadows, who beat Kelly Holmes' seven-year-old British 800m indoor record at the UK Indoor Grand Prix in February, runs in the 800m.
UK Athletics chief Charles Van Commenee suggested after last month's trials in Sheffield that a healthy medal-haul was possible.
"We have names which will make the podium if they perform to potential and there is always room for outsiders," said the Dutchman.