BRITISH SPRINTER, Dwain Chambers, who was found guilty of a serious doping violation in 2003, has been backed by the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, to compete in the London 2012 Olympics and the upcoming Paris Golden League meet, due to be held on July 17, writes Greg Keane.
In an exclusive interview with CU Today, Pound said: “He’s served his time (Chambers). If the penalty for doping was a two year suspension and that’s what’s called for under the code, and Britain applies the code, that’s the only sanction to which he’s liable.”
“If you’re adding something on to that, that’s not in compliance with the code”, Pound continued.
Chambers has been at the centre of yet another storm this week with the news that Laurent Boquillet, the organiser of the Paris Golden league, is set to break a gentlemen’s agreement with his fellow promoters and invite the current top ranked European 100m runner, to compete at the event.
Pound said: “He (Chambers) didn’t get the right kind of advice in terms of the law suit that he took, to try and get into the (British Olympic) Beijing team. I think there was a way he might have been successful.”
With a recently more aggressive approach from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency, this decision to invite Chambers from Boquillet has been seen as a backwards step in the combat to beat the cheats.
The former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Pound has become known as an outspoken critic of corruption within the IOC, and was appointed head of inquiry into the corruption after the scandals surrounding the Salt Lake City Olympics. He has also campaigned vigorously for stronger drug testing.
Pound also feels more strength is needed within the British football authorities to make sure codes are adhered to, and players are tested more regularly. “There’s always been trouble with the really professional portion of sports and that includes football,” Pound added.
“I think it’s important in Britain to keep the pressure on them to be code compliant. What I see in the media suggests perhaps they’re not as enthusiastic about it as one might hope.”