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UK Athletics

Chambers faces uncertain return

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Dwain Chambers will have mixed emotions if he recovers from a thigh injury in time to compete at the European Championships, beginning on August 7.


Four years ago, Chambers claimed his first major gold medal, setting a championship record of 9.96 seconds with a flying performance in Munich to win the continental 100 metres title. But the reputation of the 28-year-old Londoner was in tatters a year later after he tested positive for the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinome (THG).


"Certain members of the British team and the athletics world will see me as the athlete who got caught taking drugs," said Chambers.


But Chambers then dropped another bombshell when he announced plans to make a clean start and wipe the slate clean.

He confessed he had been cheating and using EPO for 18 months longer than first thought after failing his out-of-competition test in Sarrbrucken in August 2003.


"I would like to believe my honesty has cleared the air," said Chambers. "I feel better for myself for being honest and coming clean and performing the way I know I can do. I am trying to be the athlete I was in the past."


Initially, there were calls for Chambers to be given an additional suspension.


The International Association of Athletics Federations quickly squashed that option, adamant he could not be given a retrospective sentence.


And the sprinter must have breathed a massive sigh of relief, knowing his admission might have seen him earn a lifetime ban under the two strikes rule.


His honesty also impressed many anti-drug critics who believe in life bans - even arch-campaigner Paula Radcliffe, who said because of his admission he deserved a second chance.

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