BOA launch court battle to end Chambers” 2012 Olympic dream
Dwain Chambers” participation in London 2012 will be determined in a courtroom after the British Olympic Association formally engaged the World Anti-Doping Agency in a legal fight.
The BOA are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against WADA”s decision to declare them non-compliant with their code for effectively banning serious drug cheats, such as 100 metres sprinter Chambers and cyclist David Millar, from representing Britain at the Olympics.
Controversial: Chambers would be eligible for the 2012 GB team if the BOA lose
Banned: Millar would also be eligible for selection
The prevailing view is that the BOA will lose their battle after the precedent set by CAS earlier this year when they ruled that the International Olympic Committee”s Rule 45, banning America”s Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt from the Olympics even though his drugs suspension had expired, was unlawful.
However, the BOA believe they could win on the basis that their so-called eligibility rule by-law bears no relation to Rule 45.
They have engaged two leading QCs, Lord (David) Pannick and Adam Lewis, to represent them, and victory would please those who applaud their stance against the biggest enemy ofmodern sport, drugs.
It would also allow them to pick theBritish team as they see fit. BOA chairman Lord Moynihan said: “The BOAselection policy is a direct expression of the commitment British athletes have made to the values of fair play, integrity and clean competition – values that are at the heart of Olympic sport.”
The process will lead to a hearing around March, and the result is expected to be released by the end of April, allowing the issue to be resolved ahead of the Games.
It also means that they will enter a dispute with another organisation rather than an individual athlete and so avoid unnecessary acrimony.
The BOA introduced the by-law in 1992, seven years before WADA existed, and more than 90 per cent of TeamGB athletes support it.
Chambers” agent Siza Agha said: “I had hoped it was a course that would be averted, particularly in the light of a procession of high-profile athletes voicing opposition to theby-law in the last couple of weeks. Dwain never wanted to go to court and just wants to be recognised as an athlete after nearly a decade of various and ongoing sanctions.”