So Dwain Chambers has qualified for the Olympics after winning the
British trials in 10.00 (the fastest clean run by a British sprinter in
Of course, he's not yet selected, and a judge will decide on Wednesday whether he will be selected to run.
Most of the arguments that I've heard against him running have been
moral arguments, and I'm all for banning athletes for life that are
caught doping. However, the important arguments will be the legal ones.
Is his Olympic ban a restraint of trade? Is it unfair (only GB and
Norway have this rule)? Should the BOA have the autonomous right to
decide the standards that they expect from their athletes?
Dick Pound, the former head of the Word Anti Coping Agency (WADA) certainly thinks Chambers has a case.
I hope that once this is over, that the WADA will look again at
lifetime bans, or that the International Olympic Committee make the
rules consistent for all nations.
Until either of these happen, I've a lot of sympathy for Chambers. He's
served his ban, and until the rules change, should still be allowed to
run. But then, the BOA rule was in place when he took drugs. Oh, I
don't know. I'm so 'conflicted'.
Which way should the decision go?