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Athletics: Ohuruogu to fight Olympic ban.

COMMONWEALTH 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu has vowed to fight her Olympics ban, but will give up running if she fails.

The 22-year-old, one of Great Britain's brightest hopes for the 2008 Olympics, was suspended for a year by an independent UK Athletics disciplinary hearing after missing three out of competition drugs tests.

She also faces a lifetime ban from the Olympics under British Olympic Association rules.

However, she remains hopeful she will be allowed to compete in Beijing.

"The first point is to appeal against the Olympic ban because I think that is completely out of line," she said.

"I just wanted people to apply a bit of common sense. I don't know if it will succeed. They've shown they can be really hard if they want to.

"I understand rules are rules, but where someone has shown that they haven't tried to deliberately violate the system?"

Without the chance to compete in the Olympics, Ohuruogu claims she will retire.

She added: "If what they're looking at is an Olympic ban, I don't see the point in me running again.

"That is what will destroy me the most. If that's the case, I probably will never run again.

"The Olympics is what you train for, that's the pinnacle, the highest you can get to. It's a shame because I've only just started in the sport."

Dwain Chambers is still eager to represent Great Britain in the 4x100 metres relay, despite being banned from competing in future Olympics after serving a two-year drugs suspension.

And that news will give UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins a headache as he prepares to build a British squad which will be good enough to defend the Olympic 4x100m title in 2008.

Collins' remit also includes achieving major medal successes at next year's World Championships - which might tempt him to include Chambers in the side.

Chambers returned to competition this summer after completing a his punishment for using the designer drug THG to enhance his performances.

The 28-year-old Londoner is determined to restore his reputation as a clean athlete and last month voluntary stepped in to help out the injury-hit Britain relay side at the European Championships, running a solid first leg as gold was secured.

Chambers was in action again in Athens on Saturday, representing Team Europe at the IAAF World Cup with Dwayne Grant, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis.

The quartet posted a season's fastest time of 38.45 seconds, although they were no match for the USA foursome who set a meeting record of 37.59 seconds.

Chambers is aware UKA must build a team who can defend their Olympic crown - and still believes he has lots to offer both as an individual and relay runner.

Given the strict BOA anti-doping bylaw and the seriousness of his offence, he is unlikely ever to be reinstated.

But Chambers is buoyant about his chances of running in Osaka, saying the new quartet had enjoyed the build-up to Athens.

He explained: "Coming together and building the team camaraderie is good for me and for the team.

"It felt good getting the baton around and we're getting more consistent."

CAPTION(S):

Dwain Chambers still hopes to race at the Olympics despite serving a drugs ban, as does Christine Ohuruogu (inset)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2006
Words:544
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