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Shamed Chambers set to fight Olympic ban.

The British Olympic Association are adamant their lifetime drugs ban will stand up to the sternest international pressure.

The BOA's policy of imposing infinite bans on Olympic participation for any athletes convicted of drugs offences is set to be tested.

Disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers is ready to become the first man to challenge the policy at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

His team are thought to believe Chambers has a better chance of overturning the BOA ruling than the two-year ban imposed by UK Athletics for testing positive for the banned stimulant THG.

But the BOA insist they are within their rights to bar drugs cheats and believe they continue to have widespread support for their stance.

BOA spokesman Philip Pope said: "We believe our by-law is enshrined under the Olympic Charter and we wait with interest to see whether it is challenged at a higher authority.

"The by-law was introduced after an athletes' commission called for it and we believe the athletes and the British public understand there must be a tough line on doping in Great Britain.

"We are not judging whether a doping offence has been committed, we are enforcing our right under the charter to select our own Olympic team.

"Clearly we are very disappointed when anyone tests positive, particularly somebody as prominent as Dwain Chambers. But we believe the public have sympathy for our approach and our by-law continues to be correct."

Banned shot-putter Carl Myerscough and pole vaulter Janine Whitlock are also considering a legal challenge.

Others convicted of drugs offences - such as the skier Alain Baxter - have had their lifetime bans lifted after winning over the BOA with claims of mitigating circumstances.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2004
Words:282
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