Disgraced Chambers Loses Race for Team GB Selection

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Byline: By Stephen Howard and Helen William

Dwain Chambers was considering his future yesterday after losing his High Court bid to be allowed to compete at next month's Olympic Games in Beijing.

Mr Justice Mackay refused to grant an injunction temporarily suspending a lifetime Olympic ban imposed on the self-confessed drugs cheat by the British Olympic Association under a bylaw.

But Mr Justice Mackay told a packed courtroom: "Many people inside and outside sport would see this bylaw as unlawful. In my judgment, it would take a much better case than the claimant has presented to persuade me to overturn the status quo and compel his selection for the Games."

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge had commented to Jonathan Crystal, representing Chambers: "The reality is you are saying 'put him on the plane'."

Mr Crystal, an expert in sports law, had told the judge: "He represents our best chance of a podium finish in the 100 metres in Beijing."

Chambers, 30, served a two-year suspension for using the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).

Mr Crystal said the BOA bylaw was unfair, contrary to competition law and an unreasonable restraint on trade.

Chambers had qualified to compete in the Olympic team after winning the 100 metres at the Olympic athletics trials in Birmingham on Saturday and setting his best time of the year.

David Pannick QC, representing the BOA, told the judge Chambers "cannot show sportsmen and women are significantly restrained in their trade by the bylaw which only concerns eligibility for an amateur event, which takes place once every four years and for which there is no prize money". He added: "If the court were to make an order requiring the claimant be selected, that would deprive another athlete of his place, even though the legality of the rule may be upheld at full trial."

Chambers was not a good example for Britain's next generation and the court should not force the BOA to pick him, Mr Pannick argued. …