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UK Athletics

Chambers Olympic ban may affect call-up

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UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins admits Dwain Chambers' Olympics Games ban could affect the decision on whether or not include him for the forthcoming European Cup meeting in Malaga.


Chambers made his comeback from a two-year drug ban with a third-placed finish in the 100metres at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix at Gateshead last weekend, prompting suggestions he could travel to Spain later this month.


Collins, who will announce his squad on Wednesday, said: "It would be a very difficult decision as to whether include someone who is disqualified from running in the Olympics in your relay team. If you include him in the world relay team what are you going to do next year?"


But Collins may favour a short-term solution as the European Cup is still a prestigious event and last year's British number one Jason Gardener is out of action injured.


He admitted: "The European Cup is a bit of a banana skin for us and exposes our weaknesses, but we also have to select athletes who give us a fair crack at staying up in the league."


The men's team last year were relegated when finishing seventh in Florence but were later given a reprieve and retained in the top tier as the Malaga track has nine lanes.


"Team events such as the cup are where we will be at our weakest," admitted Collins, with the women's side returning to the leading echelon after their relegation two years ago.


"The format exposes our shortcomings, for example a lack of strength in depth across the board, and none are as challenging as the SPAR European Cup."


Britain's men first won the cup in 1989 and then four times in six editions between 1997 and their last victory in the French town of Annecy in 2002.


But despite some solid early-season performances from the probable team members, they have been tipped to struggle against Europe's best.

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