Dwain Chambers comes out of retirement only to face discrimination over doping history.
Dwain Chambers, a retired 40-year old British sprinter who was once among the world’s fastest men during the early 2000s, has decided to make a comeback after officially retiring from competition in 2017.
Unfortunately, Chambers has quickly learned that his return is not welcomed by everyone due to his previous admitted use of anabolic steroids over 16 years ago.
Chambers set his sights on qualifying for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow (Scotland) on March 1-3, 2019. In order to qualify, Chambers needed to achieve the European indoor qualifying standard of 6.60 seconds in the 60-meter sprint prior to the event.
Chambers attempted to do so at the 2019 SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham on February 9, 2019. He failed to do so after being disqualified for a false start.
Chambers had another chance to qualify for the European Championships at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham on February 16, 2019. The only problem is that participation required an invitation from UK Athletics.
UK Athletics discriminates against athletes with a history of “major doping offenses”.
However, UK Athletics refused to invite Chambers to the meet due to the commission of what it deems to be a “major doping offense” earlier in his career. Siza Agha, the sports agent representing Chambers noted that UK Athletics has and continues to allow other former dopers to compete.
“I’m astonished,” Agha told Telegraph Sport. “There are several athletes – including athletes competing on Saturday – that have recent doping bans, whilst Dwain’s is 16 years old. I wasn’t aware of any policy, but in Dwain’s position I find it astonishing.
“Also, it’s a backward policy because it serves to silence people rather than encourage them to speak about this stuff.”
The criteria used by UK Athletics to determine a “major doping offense” appears to be arbitrary.
American sprinter Michael Rodgers was allowed to compete at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix even though he was suspended for nine months after testing positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine in July 2011.
UK Athletics considers Chambers doping history in 2002 and 2003 to be a “major doping offense”. Chambers tested positive for the anabolic steroids THG arising from a sample collected on August 1, 2003.
Chambers subsequently admitted using six other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in addition to THG. Those drugs included human growth hormone, insulin, modafinil (Provigil), liothyronine (T3), epitestosterone and EPO.
Chambers does not currently appear to have any options available to him that will allow him to qualify for the 2019 European Indoor Championships Glasgow.
Bloom, B. (February 13, 2019). Dwain Chambers barred from competing at Birmingham Grand Prix due to doping past. Retrieved from telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2019/02/13/dwain-chambers-barred-competing-birmingham-grand-prix-due-doping/