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PaderbornCaley

Dwain Chambers

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Should he be allowed to compete in the Olympics? Currently. after serving bans for drug taking, other countries then let the athletes compete (if they're still good enough).

Dwain is doing very well at the moment and I think his most recent high profile medal was silver at the European indoor 60 metres last year and gold the year before. His times are still great and if allowed to compete, he would be Team GB's best chance of a medal at 100 metres.

Since serving his 2 year drugs ban from 2003 - 2005 he has emersed himself in lots of charity work as well as a stint in NFL Europe and a failed trial with Castleford Tigers (Rugby League).

He is still an exceptional athlete and whilst other countries are letting former drug users compete, Team GB refuse.

It is now going through the courts and I believe it will be towards the end of next month before the High Court rules whether he can or can't compete.

So, should athletics / olympics / sport be about giving someone a second chance? Or would it set a bad example..........

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Everyone makes mistakes and should be free to continue once punishment/sanction has been served.

Drivers are allowed to drive after serving a ban, criminals sent to prison are allowed to return to society after serving their sentence etc etc. I fail to see why it should be any different in athletics.

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Everyone makes mistakes and should be free to continue once punishment/sanction has been served.

Drivers are allowed to drive after serving a ban, criminals sent to prison are allowed to return to society after serving their sentence etc etc. I fail to see why it should be any different in athletics.

I would probably lean to this conclusion. However, it's not UK Athletics that's banning him - he competes in Athletics events all the time. It's the British Olympic Association that won't let him compete - the same mob that think football is an Olympic sport. If we don't win any track medals, and Dwain is sitting at home, who do we blame for the lack of medals!? He's the best we have.

Other countries Olympic bodies do allow the athletes to compete after serving out the punishment. Therefore Team GB Athletics are already at an unfair advantage

Edited by CapitalCaley

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Drivers are allowed to drive after serving a ban, criminals sent to prison are allowed to return to society after serving their sentence etc etc. I fail to see why it should be any different in athletics.

I guess the difference might be that he is still reaping the benefits of all the muscle that the banned drugs helped build up, thus giving him an unfair advantage.

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Drivers are allowed to drive after serving a ban, criminals sent to prison are allowed to return to society after serving their sentence etc etc. I fail to see why it should be any different in athletics.

I guess the difference might be that he is still reaping the benefits of all the muscle that the banned drugs helped build up, thus giving him an unfair advantage.

Essentially a "proceeds of crime" argument....I'm not sufficiently up to speed on the medical side of things to give an opinion on whether or not that is true. However, it does seem strange that other sports/organisations would not subscribe to this theory if it were true.

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Drivers are allowed to drive after serving a ban, criminals sent to prison are allowed to return to society after serving their sentence etc etc. I fail to see why it should be any different in athletics.

I guess the difference might be that he is still reaping the benefits of all the muscle that the banned drugs helped build up, thus giving him an unfair advantage.

Essentially a "proceeds of crime" argument....I'm not sufficiently up to speed on the medical side of things to give an opinion on whether or not that is true. However, it does seem strange that other sports/organisations would not subscribe to this theory if it were true.

The drug he took regularly was THG - Tetrahydrogestrinone (spelling!?) Any positive effects would have left his body years ago (assuming he has indeed stopped taking it) As a matter of fact, prolonged use can cause problems for the immune system, so if he competed tomorrow, there would be no significant positive effects from the use of it pre 2005.

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Long term serial cheat in that he took the stuff for years and would have continued to do so for as long as he got off with it. Thankfully he was caught. Should have had a life ban from everything on the spot. Only became repentant after he was caught and needed to become rehabilitated.

As the coach of an athlete who many years ago (1986) would have won World Junior gold in the high jump had she not finished "behind" rivals from three Eastern European countries which were later exposed as promoting instututional drugs cheating, I have no sympathy with any of these abusers.

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Athletics, and some other Olympic sports, is rife with drug cheats. Has been for years, and we would be mad to think it is any better these days. The only deterrent in my view is an instant life ban from all competition, from the first offence.

Then the obvious double standards which the Chambers case highlights would never happen.

Edited by Caley Mad In Berks

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Question should not be about one individual but about anyone with a lifetime olympic ban in Britian

If Dwains allowed to compete then should these:

  • David Millar (cycling)

  • Carl Myerscough (shot put)

  • Peter Meakin (canoeing)

  • Jade Mellor (boxing)

  • Callum Priestley (hurdling)

  • Dan Staite (cycling)

  • Jamie Stevenson (shot put)

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Can anybody check if my Inverness Royal Academy 100 metre sprint time of 10.25 seconds is still recorded ?

I checked. Disqualified I'm afraid, you were going down Stephen's Brae at lunchtime to the nearest pub. Apparently it was wind and **** assisted!

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Does athletics have any more drug cheats than any other sport or is it that they are just better at catching them?

I would guess that the likes of athletics and cycling are more prone to have drug cheats because success in those sports depends so heavily on individual physical performance. Dare I say it, there's not a huge amount of skill involved, it's all about stregth and stamina.

In sports like football though, physical performance is only one of many aspects that are needed to succeed, so players are perhaps less likely to risk throwing away their careers for something that would only enhance one part of their game.

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Turning this on its head somewhat, is there not a case that athletes should be able to take whatever they want? It's the only way to get a level playing field, given that current rules clearly do not prevent cheating.

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with sportsmen getting a helping hand from artificial means, given that many already benefit artificially from the use of superior and more technoligically advanced equipment (the GB track cycling team being a case in point).

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The other point to be made on that is that there's now way to show that anyone coming new into athletics (or any other sport) has used performance enhancing drugs prior to that point.

To follow on from the argument that people like Dwain Chambers may possibly still be gaining an advantage from such things after the ban period, would it not be fair to suggest that all athletes should undertake a "quarantine" period before being allowed to compete?

I was also looking at some of the info on the BOA lifetime ban rules and noted that it only applies to those who have been given a ban of more than 6 months for drug use...so they are clearly not of the opinion that all drug cheats are equal or should be treated equally.

Also interesting to note that in October last year, the IOC had their ruling, that anyone banned for more than 6 months could not compete at the next Olympic Games, deemed unenforceable by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and a ban on LaShawn Merritt competing in London was lifted.

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I think he should be allowed to compete in the Olympics after serving his ban.

There is a lot of self-kidding that goes on in sport about drugs. Performance enhancing drugs are now so advanced that you have to doubt if the testers can keep up with them or if you could even test for them. The drug Chambers failed for, THG, wasn't even known about until an athletics coach sent it to the authorities in AMerica, anonymously. You can also blood dope by having your own blood transfused into you the night before a race, this apparently goes on in cycling. How do you prove that and how do you actually ban people from doing it? Other sports have a see no evil, hear no evil attitude to it - football being one. You often hear footballers complaining about being subject to the same drug testing regime as other sports, the England team almost refused to play a game over Rio Ferdinand's failed test. However, these are exactly the same standards that other athletes are held to. Don't forget Jaap Stam and Edgar Davids both served drugs bans during their careers.

I don't agree that you can say to athletes, take anything you want as these drugs are controlled and are dangerous. I'd imagine the high jumpers who beat Charle's protegy aren't pictures of health now.

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Athletics, and some other Olympic sports, is rife with drug cheats. Has been for years, and we would be mad to think it is any better these days.
Quite frankly that is pure, uninformed rubbish. Until the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in the late 80s, drugs abuse was a major problem in athletics, but also in a lot of other sports since the Soviet Bloc countries were the worst offenders because drugs abuse there was institutionalised, and indeed enforced on many of their performers - not only in athletics but in every sport they did. A lesser problem still persisted, with the USA having much but not all to answer for, and a great deal of that has been addressed by extremely rigorous testing procedures which can require athletes to state their whereabouts in advance so they can be visited at any time for extensive random testing.

Yngwie... if you thing athletics is all about strength and "stamina" (whatever that means) with not a lot of "skill" (whatever that means as well)... then you should stick to watching the fitba son! :lol:

And since I am sitting within Inverness Royal Academy writing this over the lunch hour, I have been able to check the school records and can confirm that on April 23rd 1973, a J. MacKenzie did indeed cover the 100m from the Lochgorm to the west door of the Hayloft in 10.25 sec. However he was disqualified - not for drugs abuse but for spilling some of the beer in the glass he was carrying.

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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Yngwie... if you thing athletics is all about strength and "stamina" (whatever that means) with not a lot of "skill" (whatever that means as well)... then you should stick to watching the fitba son! :lol:

I'll have you know that I am a former athletics champion - Kinmylies Obstacle Race circa 1982. There was skill involved in that, unlike these simple "one leg in front of the other" events that you call sport!

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I think this is a really difficult question. I don't like cheats and we've had discussions on this forum about cheating in the sense of footballers diving etc. A gut reaction is that drugs cheats in athletics should get banned for life but I don't think a more objective analysis supports that view. I fully understand Charles' anger at an honest and hardworking athlete missing out on glory because someone else cheated but I don't think it follows that someone who cheated on one occasion (and yes, perhaps over a period of time) should be banned for life. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, can we really define what cheating is? There are athletes and other sportsmen and women who have been found guilty of "doping" but who have either taken something like a cold remedy unaware that it contained a banned substance or who were given something in a nutrition drink etc by a coach (not Charles, obviously!) and who were unaware they were taking anything wrong. These folk will test positive but are they cheats? Foolish and naive perhaps, but surely not cheats.

Some substances are banned because they allow athletes to perform better than they could without them. But it is all quite arbitrary really. For instance, athletes are allowed certain pain killing injections - and what do they do? They allow athletes to perform better than they could without them. So, it's OK to use a pharmaceutical substance to allow you to perform better after you have overdone your training in an attempt to get one over on your rivals, but it is cheating to take a decongestant to relieve symptoms of a cold that you caught through no fault of your own.

And drugs are only one way in which the body can be modified to enhance performance. Athletes get a boost from altitude training, blood doping or by benefiting from the latest research in nutrition and physiology. Why should it be cheating to enhance your physical performance as a result of advances in pharmaceutical science but fine to induce the same enhancements as a result of physiological science?

It is also true that many significant improvements in performance are not the result of drug taking but as a result of technological advances. Cycling has already been mentioned but developments in swimwear and running shoes, for example, have also been a factor over the years where some athletes have gained an advantage over others for a brief period. These developments give an artificial advantage but have been allowed and it is not considered officially as cheating simply because the technology is ahead of the rules. But the ethical issue is the same regardless, and is that whether it is the taking of a performance enhancing drug or the application of a technological advance, the object of doing it is to gain an advantage over your competitors which may overcome the fact that your competitors may naturally be more talented than you.

So it appears that "cheating" is only "cheating" when some official body decides it to be cheating.

But even if you do "cheat" (and we should use the word here to mean that you deliberately do something which you know not to be allowed in the rules) then should you be banned, and if so, should it be for life or just a short period? In this context, it is interesting to compare athletics with football. Footballers cheat all the time and they don't get banned. They may get banned for drug offences but in truth, a dive or holding in the box is likely to have far more influence on the outcome of a game than any amount of intake of pharmaceutical substances by an individual.

In life in general there is an acceptance that if you do wrong you take your punishment and then society supports your integration back into society. We don't lock folk up for stealing possessions from others and then simply throw away the key, and nor should we in sport. As long as the former cheat is no longer cheating and no longer gaining any advantage from their earlier cheating, then they should be allowed back into the sport. In my view, this is important not just because it seems like natural justice in line with legislation in other aspects of society, but also for the sake of other competitors.

This may sound strange to some, but if I were an elite athlete, just as I would not want to be denied success by a cheat, I would also not want to be denied the opportunity to prove I was the best because a former cheat was not allowed to compete. Consider the position if Chambers was not allowed to compete in the Olympics but was running 100 metres regularly under 10 seconds and sometimes at around 9.8. If he was getting tested very regularly and was shown to be clean, could Usain Bolt claim to be the best in the world if he won the Olympic title with Chambers absent? I don't think so. Whatever Bolt might say, I am sure Bolt would want Chambers and any other "clean" former cheats to be allowed to compete. The Olympics is about being the best and you can only prove you are the best if everyone else is allowed to compete against you.

It is not a straightforward issue. Unfortunately for me and many others, athletics, swimming, cycling and some other individual sports have been seriously devalued by those pushing the rules to the limits and beyond and we are cynical whenever someone does something extraordinary. Someone once said that the definition of an Olympic champion was a cheat that hasn't been caught yet. I certainly am not as cynical as that but the element of suspicion takes away the enjoyment of these sports for me.

So whilst there is cheating in football (and it annoys the hell out of me), any articicial enhancement of an individual's physical performance makes barely the slightest difference to the outcome of a game. Football is about the skill of a player, the cohesion of the team work and the tactics of the game. It's not perfect but all these elements combine to provide a quality of richness which will always mean that the cream rises to the top despite the best efforts of the cheats. To me, it is and always will be, the beautiful game.

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As a Cyclist and Cycling official I am well aware that Cycling tests more than any other sport, which is why there have been so many caught since the bad old days in the 60s. Contador for example lost the Tour de France 18 months ago after a prolonged wrangle over Clenbuterol (which he claims was ingested from contaminated beef he ate in a restaurant) He tested once during the three weeks of that Tour de France, during which he would have been subject to tests on more than a dozen ocassions. The positive was for for a trace of the drug, which at that time was 20 times lower than the Union Cycliste International proscribed limit. World Anti Doping successfully eventually found him guilty in conjuction with the UCI . I was surprised to discover that Clenbuterol is commonly used by farmers in some countries to fatten their cattle for market.

Continental Pros in the 60s, 70s and before used to race 3 to 4 hour races every day during the summer to make a living, often driving huge distances round Europe between races and took allsorts of conconctions to counteract the lack of sleep and boost performance. Thankfully those days are now history.

As far as Dwain Chambers and the others listed above go. They should all have been aware of the BOA stance regarding future exclusion from selection as Elite athletes, and in my opinion exclude themselves from the Olympics sine die.

All Professional or Elite Sportspersons are responsible for what they ingest, and should be big enough to take responsibiltiy when caught. I feel that bans should be life time for first offences.

The list of Proscribed Substances is extensive and includes all the masking agents the sporting authorities are aware of.

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I find this quite a difficult one.

We live in a society that gives people the chance to reform. Even those who commit the most appalling atrocities.

Should sport be so different? I'm not sure.

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Does athletics have any more drug cheats than any other sport or is it that they are just better at catching them?

I would guess that the likes of athletics and cycling are more prone to have drug cheats because success in those sports depends so heavily on individual physical performance. Dare I say it, there's not a huge amount of skill involved, it's all about stregth and stamina.

In sports like football though, physical performance is only one of many aspects that are needed to succeed, so players are perhaps less likely to risk throwing away their careers for something that would only enhance one part of their game.

I would be willing to bet there are more drug cheats in Golf. My understanding that use of "Blockers" to keep their nerves in check is rife.

I find a few XXXX's on the course works for me.

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