LONDON -- British sprinter Dwain Chambers can run at the
national indoor championships, despite attempts by the national governing
body to bar him because he hadn't been drug-tested for a 12-month
UK Athletics backed down Tuesday after Chambers' lawyers
threatened to apply for a court injunction to allow him to compete.
Chambers will participate at the indoor championships in
Sheffield this weekend. He's attempting to win a spot on Britain's
team for the March 7-9 world indoor championships in Valencia, Spain.
Chambers, who admitted using designer steroid THG and served a
two-year doping ban, returned to the sport a month ago after an
unsuccessful attempt at a career in professional football.
Last Saturday, Chambers cruised to the 60-meter qualifying time
for the indoor British trials, winning in 6.60 seconds.
UK Athletics ruled that Chambers -- the former European 100-meter
champion -- could not compete for Britain because he has not been
drug-tested since his ban ended two years ago. But Chambers' lawyers immediately announced they would seek a court injunction, if necessary.
UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos expressed his disappointment at
"I believe that the BALCO scandal and the recent imprisonment
of Marion Jones have significantly damaged the credibility of
athletics as a sport," de Vos said. "Our view is that all
established athletes must participate in the out-of-competition
testing program for a continuous 12 months prior to competing for
Great Britain. Dwain is not in that position.
"However, we recognize that we do not have sufficiently strong
legal grounds to refuse him an invitation given our published
invitation policy. Reluctantly therefore, Dwain Chambers has been
informed he is permitted to participate."
Chambers' lawyer, Nick Collins, welcomed the decision.
"We are grateful to Mr. de Vos and are looking forward to
working with him in the future," he said.