FORMER drug-cheat sprinter Dwain Chambers looks set to compete for Team GB at London 2012, with confirmation expected today that the British Olympic Association has lost a landmark legal battle.
Chambers, cyclist David Millar and shot-putter Carl Myerscough had been deemed ineligible for selection under the BOA’s rules, which banned for life any athlete found guilty of a serious doping offence.
But the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has spent a month considering the case, is this afternoon poised to declare the BOA’s policy unenforceable as it does not comply with the World Anti-Doping Association.
The decision marks a dramatic reprieve for the likes of Chambers, less than three months before the Olympics begin, and looks certain to divide opinion among fellow Team GB members. It will also force the BOA to redraw its selection policy, which it has consistently argued that it alone should be allowed to determine.
Chambers, 34, served a two-year ban from 2003 after admitting using the steroid THG but has since made a successful comeback, winning 60m gold at the 2010 World Indoor Championships and the 2011 European Indoors. He has made no secret of his desire to represent Britain at Olympic level again, although Scottish road racer Millar, 35, has suggested he may not want to compete at London 2012 as “a black sheep”.
Opponents of the BOA’s byelaw claim it is an unfair additional punishment for athletes who have already served their punishment, namely the standard two-year ban dictated by Wada. The BOA had countered that it was not banning athletes, rather exercising its right to formulate its own eligibility criteria for selection to Team GB, which excluded those with doping history.
■ Tickets for the London 2012 football tournament will go back on sale this morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Some 1.4m seats are still available for matches at Wembley and across Britain, with Team GB’s men set to face Uruguay, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates at the group stage. Tickets go on sale at 11am from the London 2012 official website and on 0844 847 2012.