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Athletics: BOA defiant amid Chambers appeal speculation.

Byline: DAVID MARTIN

THE British Olympic Association was standing firm last night,insisting its lifetime ban on Dwain Chambers would stand up to any legal challenge.

The association was reacting to reports that the sprinter could appeal against his indefinite ban from Olympic competition, imposed after he was found guilty of taking the designer steroid THG (tetrahydrogestrinone). BOA spokesman Philip Pope said: ``We believe our by-law is covered under the Olympic Charter and we'll wait to see whether it's challenged.

``We believe that the athletes and the British public understand there must be a tough line on doping in Britain.''

Pope added: ``We are not judging whether a doping offence has been committed. We are simply enforcing our right under the charter to select our own Olympic team.''If the sprinter were to appeal against his Olympic ban, then he would have to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ian Blackshaw -an arbitrator for the CAS who is also a member of the International Sports Law Centre in the Hague and of the UK Sports Dispute Resolution Panel -feels Chambers will attempt to clear his name.

``I think it's very likely that he will,''Blackshaw said.``He certainly has absolutely nothing to lose by doing so.

``I think he has got no chance at all on the conviction.The fact that he took the substance unwittingly does not help at all because of the rule of strict liability.

``There maybe the possibility on the grounds that THG,at the time of the positive test, was not on the banned list.

``It is a case of UK Athletics proving that THG has a similar nature or pharmacological effect to the other substances that are not on the banned list.''

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Sprinter Dwain Chambers
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2004
Words:295
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