One mistake too many: why Dwain Chambers shouldn’t be at London 2012
Dwain Chambers is set to be handed a wildcard place in team GB for the 2012 London Olympics after the International Olympics Committee (IOC) ruled that the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) rule banning drug cheats for life was against the rules set out by the IOC. The former drug cheat has worked hard to get himself back to Olympic standard, but one mistake is one to many for this prestigious event.
In 2003 Chambers tested positive for a new steroid, THG; at a hearing in 2004 he was handed a two-year ban from all competitions, and he was also handed his life time Olympic ban by the BOA. In addition to this, Chambers was stripped of all the medals he had won since mid-2002 and forced to pay back all his earnings during this time.
For a drug cheat to be stripped of their medals is something most people would agree with; however during that period, Chambers won gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 4x100m relay, and because of his failed drugs test, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Christian Malcolm all lost their gold medals they had worked so hard to achieve.
Olympic events don’t come around very often, and for some, they only get one chance to achieve something that could change their lives forever. Athletes will train day in, day out for four years just to be ready for one race. Why should somebody who has cheated in the past be given an opportunity ahead of somebody who has worked hard and stuck to the rules?
Fair enough Chambers has served his time and people deserve second chances, but a home Olympic Games is something only a handful of athletes will ever experience. London’s motto is “Inspire a Generation”: is Chambers the sort of personal that the organising committee want to inspire children?
The BOA are judged on results and if Chambers had a chance of gaining a medal at this event then you could understand their reasons to handing a place to him, but the current crop of Jamaican sprinters are so far ahead of the rest of the world that Chambers would be lucky to even make the final race.
Chambers was a great British sprinter, but he hasn’t earned his place at London 2012, and that wildcard place should go to somebody who is much more deserving of it.