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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 13:47 UK

Chambers 'will cause more damage'

Dwain Chambers and Seb Coe
Chambers's campaign to compete in Beijing has angered Coe

Sebastian Coe believes any legal challenge by Dwain Chambers against his lifetime Olympic ban would only further "damage" the image of athletics.

The 30-year-old intends to try to secure a place in the British team for Beijing and challenge the British Olympic Association's (BOA) life ban.

Lord Coe told BBC Sport: "He is trying desperately to get back into a sport that he has done massive damage to.

"This stance is only going to cause more unnecessary damage to the sport."

Chambers is likely to contest the BOA's by-law 25 if he wins the 100m or achieves the qualifying standard of 10.85 seconds at the national trials in July, but the BOA insists it will "vigorously" defend it.

We are still mired in this discussion, and we have to move away from it

Lord Coe
After forays into first American football and more recently rugby league, Chambers has reverted again to athletics with the aim of competing in Beijing this summer.

He had a two-hour meeting with British anti-doping chief John Scott on Friday, where he outlined the drugs regime he used in 2003.

Suggestions that his willingness to offer information would lead to a more sympathetic response from official and public alike to his return to athletics met with short shrift from Coe.

"I am delighted that Dwain has made himself available to UK Sport, that has to be a good thing," the former Olympic champion told the Sportsweek programme.

"But if you asking me 'does that lead to redemption?' - it may well do, but not in our sport, which has already suffered an horrendous period in the last few years.

I cannot believe that there were not more people in the system who turned a blind eye

UK Sport's John Scott
"We can't under-estimate the damage which is being done. Eight, nine, 10 weeks away from the Olympic Games, we are still mired in this discussion, and we have got to move away from that.

"The way we do that is to get these people out of the sport."

Scott said Friday's discussions with Chambers were more of a "get to know each other" meeting, and only the start of the process.

"We are trying to get inside the mind of Dwain and understand the motivation for taking drugs and most importantly, also understand some of the science behind it and the sort of people who were supporting, encouraging and indeed corrupting him down this path," he said.

Victor Conte, the founder and owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (Balco) which supplied Chambers with a range of performance-enhancing substances, has already provided a detailed account of the drugs program Chambers was using.

But Scott admitted he would expect Chambers to name more people involved in the process in further meetings he hopes will follow.

"To some extent the litmus test for Dwain is how prepared he is to co-operate with us," he added.

"While clearly he was extremely reliant on Victor Conte, as is already detailed in the letter outlining his drugs program, I am afraid I cannot believe that there were not more people in the system who either turned a blind eye or who gave him the nod to continue with this.

"We have not discussed names yet, but we will be asking those questions as we begin to understand how the regime operates and who would necessarily need to be aware."

Scott also expressed his shock of the extent of Chambers' drug usage.

"It is absolutely terrifying. One of the most worrying things when you talk to athletes at this level is the complete disregard for some of the health risks.

"When you ask them 'if you knew that taking these drugs could lead to kidney failure by the time you are 40, would you still have done it?' the answer is 'yes, if I won a gold medal'.

"The most unbelievable thing was the sophistication of his program, which shows that the way we have to move forward is with an intelligence-based system, which is what we are creating. Testing is only part of the solution."

see also
Chambers starts Beijing challenge
16 May 08 |  Athletics
Chambers to deliver drugs dossier
15 May 08 |  Athletics
Conte's prescription for success
16 May 08 |  Athletics
Make doping a crime, says Lewis
06 May 08 |  Athletics
Chambers to meet anti-doping boss
02 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Chambers 'must help drugs fight'
26 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Chambers 'in right frame of mind'
06 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Pound gives Chambers Olympic hope
05 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Conte explains doping loopholes
13 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
How to beat the drugs cheats
15 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage


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