Today, Justice Sir Colin Mackay refused to grant an injunction temporarily suspending a lifetime Olympic ban imposed on self-confessed drugs cheat Dwain Chambers by the British Olympic Association (BOA) under a bylaw.
Some may argue that Chambers should have been given a second chance – especially as he confessed to taking the banned steroid THG (also known as “The Clear”). The fact is that had he been reinstated, it would have sent out the wrong message to other athletes who are already taking illegal substances or those young athletes who are coming into this or any other sport. Had Chambers been allowed to compete again, his ban would have seemed a very small price to pay and may have encouraged others to think that the risk was worth the sanction.
Statement from BOA Chairman Colin Moynihan
“We are respectful of the Court’s decision in all aspects. The British Olympic Association (BOA) has rules which are not only recognised and understood by all Olympic athletes, but our Bye-law has been in place for 16 years at their request and for their benefit.
I have to say that it is a matter of regret that Dwain Chambers – an athlete with such undoubted talent, a winner of the European Youth Olympic Festival 100m as a young man – should by his own actions have put himself out of the running to shine on the Olympic stage in Beijing.
However, on behalf of the athletes the BOA will continue to send a powerful and important message that nobody found guilty of serious drug cheating offences should have the honour of wearing a Team GB vest at the Olympic Games.
The Court’s decision allows us now to focus on and support those athletes who will be travelling to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to represent Team GB in just 21 days time. We must now focus on their interests.”
Chambers will have learned two lessons. The first one is that he should not have taken THG** and the second is that honesty is not always the best policy. However, all he has to do is bide his time, start telling school kids “don’t do drugs” and/or use the old trick of “I have allowed Jesus into my heart” and he will soon be back.
THG (Tetrahydrogestrinone) is used to speed-up muscle growth and was developed in the USA. You may recall Linford Christie being tested positive for Nandrolone which is another synthetic steroid. THG is 10 times more powerful than Nandrolone and was the No 1 designer steroid for some time because it was regarded as “invisible” , i.e. undetectable. In 2007 the American Marion Jones confessed to using THG prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she won three gold medals. Her career and reputation are also in tatters.