Tag Archives: booster

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick


16:02 GMT, 12 January 2013



17:51 GMT, 12 January 2013

Rigadin De Beauchene (5-1) put the icing on the cake of what has been a bountiful start to the month for trainer Venetia Williams when getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Godsmejudge and the gallant Pete The Feat in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.

The eight-year-old put his jumping issues behind him under a determined Robbie Dunne to pull the race out of the fire after he was seemingly booked for third at the second-last fence.

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

Dunne intentionally steered a wide
course on Rigadin De Beauchene in the straight, a ploy that paid off as
the combination reeled in the battling leaders with 50 yards to travel
to win by half a length.

Williams said: 'Robbie swept wide
into the straight and managed to get the horse to meet the last fence on
a good stride which I think was very important.

'His owner Andrew Wiles hopes he may
emulate his half-brother Miko De Beauchene and win the Welsh National
next season. I think Andrew might have reservations about him going for
the Grand National itself though. He's had issues with his jumping.'

Williams said she was encouraged
about a good run from her gelding after the horse that beat him in the
mud at Lingfield went on to land the Sussex National.

Dunne said: 'We were going a good
gallop when he made a mistake down the back and he also got in tight to a
couple. But overall he jumped much better today, having had a
confidence-booster at Lingfield.'

Noel Fehily was proud of the gallant Pete The Feat whose unbeaten run of five this season was finally broken back in third.

He said: 'It was another very good run. He's jumped from fence to fence and galloped to the line.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies can be forgiven if he starts getting excited about The New One (1-2 favourite) who routed the opposition in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

So far the only defeat he has
suffered in his career came in the Festival Bumper where he was sixth
but nothing in this Grade Two could live with him.

His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: 'The sky is the limit.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: 'He seems
to have so much speed and staying power and it's a shame we haven't
really learned anything, as some of the others didn't go in the ground
and he wasn't tested.

'He won but we still don't know
enough about him and that encourages me to look at the programme book
and find another two-and-a-half-miler for him in order to give him some
more experience.'

Sarah Such, joint-owner of the winner,
was out of breath after cheering The New One home and exclaimed:
'Amazing. I can't breath he is absolutely wonderful, a really special

Team Twiston-Davies also took the concluding bumper with Pure Science (5-1), a nine-length winner.

Rocky Creek boosted his claims for the RSA Chase and was cut to 12-1 from 20s for that Cheltenham Festival contest after flooring Highland Lodge in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Novices' Chase.

Paddy Power were impressed with the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old after he readily brushed aside Highland Lodge in the home straight of the three-mile contest to leave that rival exhausted on the run-in.

The pair had taken each other on at the last three of the fences down the back stretch with Rocky Creek nudging into the lead under a confident Daryl Jacob before the second last.

At this point the 7-4 chance jumped to the front where Tour Des Champs fell and brought down the weakening Forgotten Gold. Rocky Creek then forged steadily clear of Highland Lodge, who stopped to a walk on the flat and was caught by 16-1 shot Fill The Power for second.

Jacob believes the winner could be a factor in the RSA given the right underfoot conditions.

He said: 'I had the favourite covered and just wanted him to give me a lead into the straight before pressing on.

'He's a horse for the future and will be a truly super chaser in time. He's a possible Cheltenham horse for sure providing the ground there isn't too quick.'

Ely Brown booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival when avenging his 2012 defeat in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

Second to Thehillofuisneach here 12 months ago, Charlie Longsdon's charge travelled well and readily outstayed Holywell and Hada Men by a length and a quarter and four under Noel Fehily.

According to his trainer, Ely Brown needed to win today in order to guarantee a run in the Final at Cheltenham in March.

Longsdon said: 'I said to Noel he had to win again if he was going to get to Cheltenham and after this he certainly deserves to take his chance.

'If he goes up 5lb it will be his ticket booked. He was second here last year and when I looked down today's field I thought it was quite a lot tougher.

'He had a hard race at Aintree. We gave him plenty of time to recover from that and he was pinging after his last outing at Haydock.'

Rody (11-2) earned glowing praise from his pilot Paddy Brennan who described the Tom George-trained gelding as 'as good a jumper as you could possibly wish to see' following his resounding success in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap Chase.

Giving weight to all seven of his rivals in the two-mile contest, Rody made it three wins from his last four starts as he continually made ground on Eastlake at his fences.

Brennan sent him on rounding the home bend and the combination pulled eight lengths clear, with Kapga De Cerisy a neck back in third. The winner is owned by Tony Dalton and Jennifer Laing who both work for Saatchi and Saatchi.

Laing said: 'He's a happy horse who really likes being at the racecourse. He wasn't as good over hurdles because he used to brush through them, but he gives the fences more respect.'

Brennan added: 'It's his jumping that wins him his races, I've been very impressed with him.'

Flaming Charmer caused a minor shock in the opener, posting a 14-1 triumph for owners Chasing Gold, trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell.

The five-year-old proved too strong for Thunder Sheikh to deny Timmy Murphy a winner on his first ride back from injury in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

On ground described as soft by the winning jockey, Flaming Charmer outstayed his foes and Powell said: 'He's a nice horse for the future and I think he'll stay further.'

Tom Chadney, spokeman for Chasing Gold, said: 'The reason I bought him was because his dam is Kates Charm who won the Cleeve Hurdle and was a very good mare for Robert Alner.

'We have nine horses spread around the country with seven trainers. It enables our members to watch the horses run wherever they are based.'

David George tests positive for EPO

Armstrong's former team-mate George tests positive for banned substance



18:46 GMT, 6 November 2012

A former team-mate of Lance Armstrong has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for use of banned blood-booster EPO.

South African mountain bike rider David George, who rode with Armstrong's United States Postal Service team from 1999 to 2000, tested positive in an out-of-competition test on August 29, 2012, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport has announced.

SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant said: 'The blood test showed suspicious activity with regard to possible manipulation of the blood profile and a subsequent urine test came back positive for the banned EPO drug.

Old colleagues: David George used to ride with Lance Armstrong's (pictured) Postal Service Team

Old colleagues: David George used to ride with Lance Armstrong's (pictured) Postal Service Team

'His biological passport, which analyses the athletes blood profile indicated suspicious activity and that triggered a targeted test for EPO. EPO testing gives us a window of between six and 12 hours for testing because that's how long it will show up in a test.'

Cycling South Africa president William Newman added: 'Cycling South Africa respects the independence of the SAIDS process and will respect the outcome.

'Cycling SA further reiterates its zero-tolerance to doping in sport and confirms that there is no evidence of this being an endemic problem in the sport in South Africa.'

Last month, the International Cycling Union (UCI) ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-doping Agency, who concluded Armstrong and his US Postal team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

All Armstrong's results from August 1, 1998 were expunged from the record books, including his seven consecutive Tour de France 'wins' from 1999 to 2005, and the 41-year-old was banned for life.

Armstrong did not cooperate with the USADA investigation and has always denied wrongdoing.

David Price rises while Audley Harrison falls – Jeff Powell

Paying the Price: Final bell tolls for Audley as David's star keeps on rising



21:25 GMT, 14 October 2012

Their paths crossed but briefly in the night. Two meteors on opposite trajectories. The rising star for whom the sky’s the limit and the man who fell to earth with a sickening thud.

David Price goes onwards – to another rocket-fuelled confidence booster against Matt Skelton in December – and upwards, to a world heavyweight championship date with a Klitschko next year.

Audley Harrison proceeds from the hospital to which they hurried him to his retirement home in Los Angeles.

The transition could not be tidier.

The rise and fall: David Price and Audley Harrison are on opposite trajectories

The rise and fall: David Price and Audley Harrison are on opposite trajectories

The 29-year-old Price is the new great hope. The 39-year-old Harrison is the Superman in his own mind whose fantasy crumpled into an unconscious heap, like so many dreams on intoxicated Saturday nights like this one in Liverpool.

Kryptonite descended on Harrison in the form of the nuclear right hand which promises to carry Price to the ring’s supreme prize.

The first round blow which left Harrison entangled with the bottom rope and separated him from his senses would have knocked out any fighter in the world.

Although a modest Merseysider by nature, Price would expect David Haye to succumb to his power: ‘We can’t be sure unless he agrees to fight me but I do think now that I am the best heavyweight in Britain.’

Belief in his own ability has come slowly to Price but by mowing down Harrison faster and more spectacularly than the Hayemaker he has overcome that psychological barrier.

He said: ‘Had you asked me a year ago if I could become world heavyweight champion I would have said yeah but I wouldn’t really have believed it. Now I feel certain I can beat either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.’

Belief: Price is sure he can go on to become world heavyweight champion

Belief: Price is sure he can go on to become world heavyweight champion

So certain that he expects the big brothers to take on Haye and Tyson Fury as softer options, unless he can force himself upon one of them as mandatory challenger.

At the rate he is going he should be in that position towards the end of next year. Skelton, at 45 and with his British and European title years behind him, may not seem to be too challenging a next barrier. But it is the different, rough-house style which this fitness fanatic will bring to the fray which interests Price’s promoter.

Frank Maloney, who guided Lennox Lewis into becoming this country’s first world heavyweight champion for a hundred years, says: ‘I pick every opponent for a reason and Matt will put David under physical pressure he hasn’t faced before. It also important that he boxes frequently.’

It would help, too, if Skelton, as he vows to do, can work Price for longer than Harrison.

It was all over in the impressive Liverpool Echo Arena within 82 seconds. Partly because, unlike the farcical night he froze in Haye’s headlights, Harrison tried to fight. That modicum of ambition hastened his brutal undoing….and the end of his career.

Easy: Price won the fight without any trouble

Easy: Price won the fight without any trouble

Harrison had been on the wane – not least in the public’s esteem – almost from the day he turned professional. The 1 million contract he negotiated with the BBC for his first fights, then his scratchy domestic and European championship wins, subsided into ridicule as it became clear that he had no real appetite for boxing.

They called him Fraudley but in reality fighting for him had always been an intellectual exercise rather than a physical demand. It was his cleverness at working the arcane amateur scoring system which made him Britain’s first super-heavyweight Olympic champion.

Harrison was never made of the rigorous stuff of the hard old pro game but his loquacious ability to sell a good fight kept him in the picture until the Last Chance Saloon called time on him this weekend, as he approaches his 40th birthday.

And only just in time. Embarrassed by the Haye charade into coming out from the first bell and throwing a few punches, he got caught. Price said; ‘That first shot stung him.’

As he struggled to stay upright on wobbling legs, a second more explosive right first finished the job. Price said: ‘I knew from the moment it landed it was over. I felt the tremor go through my hand.’

Revival: Harrison needed several minutes to recover

Revival: Harrison needed several minutes to recover

There were anxious minutes as Harrison lay sprawled and glassy eyed on the canvass and the medics worked to revive him. The man who brought the oxygen of publicity to his fights needed the real thing to bring him round. He was stll unsteady on his feet as he left the ring and remained somewhat concussed as they took him to hospital for precautionary examination.

At least he goes into the Californiann sunset having screwed up the courage for one last, albeit doomed, lunge at redemption.

Price said: ‘Audley will always have my respect for his Olympic achievement and I’m disappointed that some of the crowd booed him. This was not pleasant for him but I’m now at the stage when I smell blood I go for the kill. But I feel sorry for him that no-one in boxing gives him the respect he deserves.’

The jeers for Harrison gave way to roars of approval for one of Liverpool’s own from a crowd of more than 8,000. It is time to move on to something more exciting by far.

Big Audley has been consigned to history with a collective shrug. The giant David is the future of British boxing.

Neil Lennon says Celtic are hitting form ahead of Spartak Moscow clash

Lennon believes Celtic are hitting form at just the right time for Spartak clash



16:15 GMT, 30 September 2012

Neil Lennon believes Celtic have hit the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League in perfect time for their Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow on Tuesday night.

The Hoops swept Motherwell away at Fir Park on Saturday to replace the Steelmen at the summit, thanks to a strike from in-form Gary Hooper and an own goal by the unfortunate Well defender Adam Cummins, who compounded a miserable afternoon when he was sent off after the break for a professional foul on Kris Commons.

Celtic could afford to have skipper Scott Brown's penalty saved by Darren Randolph and they were handed an added boost when Georgios Samaras returned for the first time since injuring his elbow on international duty early in September as a second-half substitute.

Delight: Celtic's Scott Brown after the own goal

Delight: Celtic's Scott Brown after the own goal

Lennon said: 'We have gone top of the league so going into the game on Tuesday, that is a good marker for us psychologically.

'We are starting to hit a bit of form which is great.

'The new lads are starting to settle in, we have players back and we will need them.

'We were very motivated going into the game and we picked Motherwell off very well at times.

'They found it a little bit difficult to adjust to the movement and we were able to get down the sides and round the back of them because we isolated their two centre-halves and some of the passing to get the boys in was very good, so overall it was a big performance.

'It was great to see Samaras back in full flow, and I thought Emilio Izaguirre was brilliant, he set a really good tempo and example and it augurs well but we know Tuesday is a different animal.

'We won't have anywhere near the bulk of possession or chances created but it is a huge confidence-booster going into that game.'

Form: Neil Lennon thinks Celtic have hit the top at the right time

Form: Neil Lennon thinks Celtic have hit the top at the right time

Any notions that Motherwell could be genuine contenders for the SPL title this season came to an abrupt end against a rampant Celtic side who could and should have scored more, notwithstanding the fact that the home side played most of the second half with 10 men.

Indeed, Fir Park manager Stuart McCall was pleased to escape without suffering a bigger drubbing.

'We wanted to do better but their movement was outstanding,' he said.

'We have a young side and there was a certain naivety, we squeezed too high.

'So it could have been more but one thing was, my players didn't chuck it.

'We said before the game that regardless of what the score was, they had to stick at it and they certainly did.'

US Open 2012 VIDEO: Alvaro Quiros hits hole-in-one on a PAR FOUR at Olympic Club

VIDEO: Quiros hits hole-in-one during US Open warm-up… on a PAR FOUR!



08:51 GMT, 14 June 2012

Alvaro Quiros warmed up for the US Open with a hole-in-one in practice on Wednesday. A nice little confidence booster ahead of the year's second major. Especially when it comes on a par four.

The huge-hitting Spaniard aced the 288-yard seventh hole, which runs steeply uphill adding further distance to the shot, on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Due to the hill Quiros could not see his shot find the cup, but knew something special had happened from the roars in the grandstands by the green.


Pals: Alvaro Quiros (left) with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at The Olympic Club

Pals: Alvaro Quiros (left) with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at The Olympic Club

'We thought it was going to be more in the middle of the green. Suddenly, we see the people stand,' Quiros said. 'Gonzalo (Fernandez-Castano, his playing partner) said, “I think you holed it”. And I said, “No, it probably just touched the flag”. And then we start to walk and the people start screaming again. I said, “OK, probably. Maybe”. When we start to get closer to the green, people start congratulating me, and that's when I realized it was an albatross.'

Golf blog

Quiros said that he had made four previous holes-in-one, all on par-threes, and one albatross on a par-five in Argentina.

The 29-year-old remains an outside bet for the tournament, with Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald the favourites to land America's national championship.

Ace: Quiros completed the par-four seventh hole in just one shot in practice

Ace: Quiros completed the par-four seventh hole in just one shot in practice

Quiros warned that he is unlikely to come close to repeating the trick in the tournament proper.

'The funny thing is,' he said, 'I'm probably going to be missing this green.'

London 2012 Olympics: Dwain Chambers cleared to run

BOA drugs fight is 'colonial' says Chambers camp after sprinter is cleared for London



21:30 GMT, 30 April 2012

Dwain Chambers’ manager has made the remarkable claim that the British Olympic Association’s defiant stand against drugs cheats amounted to ‘colonial arrogance’.

The controversial comments came within hours of disgraced sprinter Chambers winning the right to compete at London 2012, after the BOA’s lifetime ban for serious drugs cheats was overturned in court.

His manager Siza Agha, a barrister, said: ‘As hosts for the 2012 Olympics, this delicate and emotive issue required international diplomacy, foresight and responsibility.

Tougher sanctions needed: BOA Chairman Lord Colin Moynihan (left) and BOA CEO Andy Hunt react to the decision from CAS in London on Monday

Defeated: BOA Chairman Lord Colin Moynihan (left) and
BOA CEO Andy Hunt react to the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in London on Monday

Tougher sanctions needed: BOA Chairman Lord Colin Moynihan (centre left) reacts to the decision from CAS in London on Monday

‘What we have received has been a crude and defiant display fuelled by misguided statements such as, “We have standards and the rest of the world doesn’t”.

‘It has been an exposure of colonial arrogance that even the most extreme and blinkered should have realised could only serve to marginalise British opinion on the international stage. In complete contrast, the World Anti- Doping Agency have been the model of professionalism and dignity in the face of the most extreme provocation.

‘Lessons should be learned by their example.’

Lord Moynihan, the BOA chairman, showed more grace towards Chambers — who systematically took anabolic steroids nine years ago — after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled the lifetime ban ‘non-compliant’ with WADA’s anti-doping code.

Moynihan said it was a ‘hollow victory’ for WADA but that he respected the adjudication, adding that Chambers and cyclist David Millar, who took the blood booster EPO, would receive equitable treatment if selected.

Second chance: Dwain Chambers is to be cleared for the Olympics

Second chance: Dwain Chambers is to be cleared for the Olympics

Moynihan instead turned his focus on the long-term fight against drugs. He said: ‘We are disappointed in the outcome for athletes, coaches and administrators who want to see progress against doping.

‘It is wrong that national Olympic committees now have to hand over their selection policy to drugs cheats or face court action. An overwhelming majority of athletes support this policy and are totally committed to a clean Games.

‘We will engage and lead a global campaign to bring fundamental and far-reaching reforms to WADA. We want tougher and more realistic sanctions for serious first-time doping offences. A four-year ban, including an Olympics, should be the standard.

‘Cheating to deny a clean athlete the chance to participate in the greatest event in sport cannot merit a sanction so light as a two-year ban and the chance that you may never miss a Games. We also want more pro-active and reliable testing methods.

‘We want WADA to operate in a far more efficient and effective manner and be more in touch with national Olympic committees.’

WADA president John Fahey accused the BOA of making ‘hysterical and inaccurate public statements’. He talked of the need for ‘harmonisation’ and rules that are ‘proportionate and respectful of individuals within the framework of international law’.

Cleared: David Millar

Cleared: David Millar

But the CAS ruling pointed the way towards Moynihan’s four-years-and-one-Games standard, saying it recognised that the BOA and IOC ‘were free to persuade other stakeholders that an additional sanction of inability to participate in Olympic Games may be a proportionate, appropriate sanction of an anti-doping offence,’ when WADA’s code is revised.

Chambers, training in Jamaica, must now make the 100 metres qualifying time of 10.18sec, which is well within his compass if he remains uninjured. UK Athletics will not stand in his way.

Millar will form a crucial part of Mark Cavendish’s road race team — embarrassingly a favourite for Britain’s first gold medal of the Games.

Dave Brailsford, British Cycling’s performance director, has said he will pick the fastest team regardless of moral issues, effectively ushering Millar into the fold. Cavendish also welcomed the prospect of Millar helping his cause. ‘I want him there,’ he said.

But former swimmer Mark Foster, who carried the flag at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games four years ago, reflected a feeling among the majority of British athletes — between 75 and 90 per cent of the team have voted for a lifetime ban over the past 20 years.

He said: ‘My big thing is if Dwain Chambers hadn’t been caught he would still be doing it. The fact it was a two-year ban — just a ticking-over period — and then he came back to athletics. It’s nothing against Dwain, but he’s a cheat. I don’t like cheats.’

The BOA must pay their own costs and that of the hearing: less than the 100,000 they had budgeted for. Moynihan, though, will consider that a small cost for a battle lost if he ultimately wins his crusade.

Mark Foster is launching the Mark Foster Swim Academy during the 2012 Olympics.


1978: Born Islington, London, April 5.
1998: Takes 100 metres silver in European Championships and is third in World Cup.

1999: Runs 9.99 seconds to become the second European sprinter to break the 10-second barrier after Linford Christie. Runs 9.97secs to claim bronze at the World Championships in Seville.

2000: Fourth in Olympics final in Sydney.

2002: Gets off to a bad start in the Commonwealth Games 100m final and pulls up with cramps, later attributed to lack of fluids.
Takes gold at the European Championships and adds a superb run to bring the British team home for gold in the 4x100m relay.

2003: August 25 – Finishes fourth in the World Championships 100m final in Paris in a time of 10.08.
October 22 – Revealed to have tested positive for newly discovered `designer steroid' tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). Denies knowingly taking the drug.
November 7 – IAAF suspend Chambers pending disciplinary hearing, after B sample tests positive.

2004: February 22 – Handed a two-year worldwide ban due to expire on November 7, 2005 and a BOA lifetime suspension from the Olympics.

2005: December 10 – Admits using THG for 18 months before failing his drug test including when he became double European champion in August 2002.

In the clear: Dwain Chambers

2006: June 10 – Cleared by UK Athletics to make comeback.
June 11 – Returns to action at Gateshead, finishing third in 10.07. His time is the fastest by a European in 2006.
June 26 – All performances since January 1, 2002 annulled, including individual and relay gold at the European Championships in Munich in 2002 and the European record of 9.87 he shared with Linford Christie, after his admission to using THG prior to his failed drugs test.
August – Selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Gothenburg.
Finishes seventh in the individual event before joining Mark Lewis-Francis, Darren Campbell and Marlon Devonish in the 4x100m sprint relay squad. The quartet win gold but their achievement is overshadowed by Campbell's refusal to celebrate on a lap of honour with his team-mates, saying it would be “hypocritical”.

2007: March – Secures a contract with NFL Europa side Hamburg Sea Devils.

2008: January – UK Athletics chief executive officer Niels de Vos claims Chambers will be barred from making a comeback because he has not undergone drug testing since November 2006 when he left the sport. The IAAF claim he is eligible to run because he never retired from athletics.
February 2 – Qualifies for the World Indoor trials in Sheffield by winning the 60m at the Birmingham Games in 6.60.
February 5 – Allowed to compete in Sheffield after UKA grudgingly accept his entry after the athlete's solicitors prepared to launch a High Court injunction against them.
February 10 – Storms to victory in the 60 metres in Sheffield to book himself a spot at the following month's World Indoor Championships in Valencia.
March 7 – Wins a silver medal in the World Indoor Championships.
May 6 – After a month-long trial with Super League side Castleford, the club reveal he will not be offered a contract.
June 4 – Wins his first 100m race since August 2006 in Greece.
June 30 – 200 past and present athletes, including Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Steven Redgrave, sign a petition against Chambers being picked for the Beijing Games after his lawyers confirm plans for a High Court appeal against the BOA's lifetime Olympics ban.
July 3 – Court proceedings are launched by Chambers' legal team.
July 12 – Wins the 100m at the Aviva UK National Championships, the qualifying event for the British Olympic team.
July 18 – Chambers' attempt to gain a temporary injunction against the BOA ban is rejected at the High Court to end hopes of competing in Beijing.

2009: March – Wins gold over 60m at the European Indoor Championships in 6.46s.
Causes further controversy later in the same month after alleging in his autobiography that drug use is widespread within athletics.
August 16 – Finishes sixth in the 100m final at the World Championships in Berlin as Usain Bolt breaks the world record, pulls out of the 200m with a calf injury.

2010: March 13 – Wins world indoor gold over 60m in Doha.
June – Clocks 9.99 to win the 100m at the European Team Championships in Bergen, his first sub-10 clocking since 2001.
July 28 – Finishes a disappointing fifth in the 100m final at the European Championships in Barcelona.

2011: March 6 – Wins silver at the European Indoor Championships in Paris.
August 28 – Disqualified in the semi-finals of the 100m at the World Championships in Daegu for false-starting.
2012: March 10 – Wins bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

London 2012 Olympics: Dwain Chambers and David Millar to win drugs fight

EXCLUSIVE: Return of the drug cheats! Chambers and Millar set for controversial Olympics green light



06:40 GMT, 20 April 2012

Disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers will be free to compete at the London Olympics when a landmark drugs ruling finds in his favour next week.

Sportsmail understands that highly placed figures within the British Olympic Association have privately conceded defeat in their legal battle to keep Chambers, who tested positive for systematic use of anabolic steroids, out of this summer’s Games.

Dope hope: Dwain Chambers is set to win his battle to compete at the Olympics in London this summer

Dope hope: Dwain Chambers is set to win his battle to compete at the Olympics in London this summer


Jonathan McEvoy: A betrayal of our Games – how WADA copped out

Olympic champion Daley Thompson: Drugs were worth the risk for Dwain

The verdict will be delivered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), possibly as early as Monday, in what will amount to a cheats’ charter.

A BOA source admitted: ‘We have lost this one.’

In addition, to Chambers, the ruling will allow Scottish cyclist David Millar, who was banned for taking the blood-booster EPO in 2004, to play a significant role in the road race team that is favourite to help Mark Cavendish to win a gold medal on The Mall.

Chambers and Millar, if fit and selected, will be among an estimated 80 drug cheats from around the world competing in London, partly as a result of court cases in the last seven months that have diluted the fight against doping.

Constant battle: Chambers has been fighting to earn his place in Team GB since his ban in 2003

Constant battle: Chambers has been fighting to earn his place in Team GB since his ban in 2003

The BOA had hoped to maintain their bylaw preventing serious offenders from being selected for the British team but CAS will rule that their stance fell foul of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code — the weak international standard to which the BOA are signatories. WADA’s maximum ban is just two years.

The BOA have indicated that they will reluctantly accept Chambers back into the fold, offering him the same support and chance as every other team member.

At 34, he remains the country’s fastest 100 metres sprinter and has an outside chance of qualifying for the Olympic final, though he first has to meet the qualifying time of 10.24sec.

He will also become eligible for selection to the 4x100m team, in which he should ensure Britain reach the final of the event.

And he'll be back: Cyclist David Millar is also set for a reprieve after his ban in 2004 for taking the blood-booster EPO

And he'll be back: Cyclist David Millar is also set for a reprieve after his ban in 2004 for taking the blood-booster EPO

And he'll be back: Cyclist David Millar is also set for a reprieve after his ban in 2004 for taking the blood-booster EPO

His return to the Olympic Games will come after he was banned for two years in 2003 for taking the designer steroid THG. He fought the BOA in the High Court before to the last Olympics, claiming their selection bylaw amounted to restraint of trade, but lost.

His ‘victory’ this time came after CAS set a precedent by repealing the so-called Osaka rule last October. The rule had prevented athletes who had been banned for six months or longer — in that case the defending 400m champion LaShawn Merritt of America — from competing at the next Olympics But CAS found the rule did not comply with the WADA code, logically placing the BOA bylaw in doubt.

The same three arbiters who sat in the Merritt case are ruling in this latest hearing.

Didn't quite work out: During his ban, Chambers tried his hand at rugby league and American football

Didn't quite work out: During his ban, Chambers tried his hand at rugby league and American football

Didn't quite work out: During his ban, Chambers tried his hand at rugby league and American football

The expected result will disappoint the majority of the British team, who have voted in favour of the BOA bylaw since it was introduced 20 years ago. Support has often topped 90 per cent and never dipped below 75 per cent.

The 1992 Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie, now a coach despite testing positive for the prohibited drug nandrolone in 1999, will also no longer be subject to the BOA rule.

However, he is unlikely to be accredited for the Olympics given the strict limit on coaching places.

Chambers on cheating… his own words

'I’d given my heart and soul to the sport and hadn’t come anywhere near a medal. I’d trained every day of my life since I was small boy, but I wasn’t progressing. I was desperate.’

‘Barely four months into my “programme” to become the fastest man in the world and I was on drugs nearly every day. At this point I was practically a walking junkie. I was on the lot and tests detected nothing.’

‘I would be able to earn enough money so that I could look after my mother. I couldn’t help but think about the glory, the look on her face when she saw that her son was the fastest man in the world.’

‘I trusted Victor Conte, my pharmacologist, and clung to his every word. I know this sounds strange, but I still speak to Victor to this day. He is a nice man, a father figure and I trust him.’

‘I learned that it may very well be that a certain steroid can give you a fraction of an advantage over a clean athlete, but if you are increasing your risk of blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and end up bald with man breasts and a smaller, dysfunctional penis, I ask you: is it worth it’

‘On Christmas Day I realised I had been taking drugs – more than 300 different concoctions – for 12 months. A year on the programme cost $30,000.’

‘Britain wants to be a shining light in the fight against drugs. A cynic may tell you it didn’t do the 2012 Olympic bid any harm. I have played into their hands. Chambers the cheat may have played his own small part in securing the 2012 Games. Gentlemen, I was glad to be of service.’

Extracts from My Story by Dwain Chambers

Maradona City break will give Aguero and Tevez a boost

Maradona City break will give Aguero and Tevez a boost

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has received a morale-booster with a family visit from father-in-law Diego Maradona.

The former Argentina player and
manager is now boss of Dubai team Al Warsi and flew in on Saturday to see
his daughter Giannina, Aguero and two-year-old grandson Benjamin before
City play Porto in the Europa League on Wednesday.

Best of friends: Maradona and Tevez

Best of friends: Maradona and Tevez

Aguero recently said: 'He follows me pretty closely. He always wants to know how we are getting on and we keep in regular contact.'

The timing of Maradona's visit is perfect for Aguero, who has dropped below peak form in recent weeks and has managed just two goals in his past eight matches.

Boost: Sergio Aguero not in top form

Boost: Sergio Aguero not in top form

City's players return to training on Monday after a weekend off and Carlos Tevez will be told to continue training on his own following four months at home in Argentina.

Intriguingly, Maradona knows both Tevez and the manager he has fallen out with, Roberto Mancini.

City have been hit with a third UEFA charge of the season relating to the behaviour of their supporters.

UEFA have accused City fans of causing danger by letting off fireworks before kick-off in Oporto on Thursday.

The club have already been fined around 5,000 for a similar offence this season against Napoli and they were also punished when objects were thrown by City fans on to the pitch against Villarreal.

In contrast to the speed with which they charged City, UEFA are being slow to investigate claims that Porto fans racially abused Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.