Athletics: Chambers confident he can make British team for London

Reuters, Tuesday 8 May 2012

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against the British Olympic Association's lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats, clearing the way for Chambers and cyclist David Millar to be win selection to Britain's Olympic team

Dwain Chambers
Fle photo: Britain's Dwain Chambers (Photo: AP)

An emotional Dwain Chambers said on Monday he had learned from a doping ban and was confident he could qualify for the London Olympics after a British ban on drug offenders was over-ruled last week.

"At this day and age, with the current crop of athletes and sprinters, you know that's (qualifying) becoming harder and harder," the 34-year-old Londoner told Reuters in an interview.

"But I'm feeling confident about that. I have a good schedule of races lined up," the 2010 world 60 metres champion said after a workout in Jamaica where he has been training with former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against the British Olympic Association's lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats, clearing the way for Chambers and cyclist David Millar to be win selection to Britain's Olympic team.

"It's a good opportunity," Chambers said. "I've learned from my mistake ... but I still have to qualify."

Britain's top sprinter said he would try to make the British team in just the 100 metres at the June 22-24 selection meeting in Birmingham. He also hopes to be named to Britain's 4x100 metres relay.

"I think the 200 metres is a little too far for me at this day and age," he said with a smile. "I'm just going to concentrate purely on getting my 100 metres as efficient as possible, and I'm learning a lot working with MVP (track club) which has some of the fastest athletes in the world."

He will race against Jamaican triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt over 100 metres in Ostrava on May 25. 

Chambers, fourth in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said he did not expect any backlash to his Olympics bid from fellow British runners.

 

"In time, certainly, people will get their heads around it," he said. "I have a good rapport with my team mates."

He praised his wife, four children and friends for keeping him motivated "because it was really hard".

Chambers also promised to work on changing the public's perception of him.

"I am sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of people out there who have their views about my inclusion in the Olympic Games and all I can do is try my best and mend bridges where possible," he said.

Chambers was slapped with a two-year ban in 2004 after testing positive for the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).

He has been eligibile since 2006 to compete for British teams other than the Olympics.

"All I can do is just go out there and perform to the best of my ability," Chambers said. "But ultimately I want to just concentrate on becoming an athlete again and enjoying the opportunity to represent my country."

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