You'll Never Getmy Gold Medal Back; Darren Campbell Is in Defiantmood as the Fallout Fromthe Dwain Chambers Drugs Case Threatens His European Glory

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 18, 2005 | Go to article overview

You'll Never Getmy Gold Medal Back; Darren Campbell Is in Defiantmood as the Fallout Fromthe Dwain Chambers Drugs Case Threatens His European Glory


Byline: ROB DRAPER

DARREN CAMPBELL is prepared to defy the world governing body of athletics by refusing to return the European relay gold he won alongside Dwain Chambers three years ago.

A week after Chambers confessed to The Mail on Sunday that he had been taking drugs when he won the 2002 European 100m final and relay gold, Campbell - his fellow 4x100m gold medallist - has spoken for the first time about the dramatic revelation.

The International Association of Athletic Federations is now planning to strip Chambers of his European title and the British team of the relay gold they won with Chambers on the anchor leg, based on The Mail On Sunday's interview.

But Campbell, now British team captain, insists he will not return the medal even though he accepts that the record books will be changed and Ukraine, who won silver in Munich in 2002, will be upgraded to gold.

Campbell said: 'I won't be giving any medals back. If they ask me, I don't know where it is. My mother has my medals. I would say: "Speak to my mother and good luck." And she would say: "No way." Anyone who knows her would know she's a scary lady at times.

'I ran the race and I did nothing wrong. It's already likely to be written out of the record books, which is hurtful, but I can deal with that. But why should I give back the one thing that I have, when I did nothing wrong?

'The Ukrainian team will feel they've been cheated, definitely. But it's not like they're going to take back my gold and give it to them.

'What you want is for the IAAF to do the right thing - mint another set of medals and let it be. I think some compassion should be shown for the three people who went out there and ran and did nothing wrong.' The IAAF's stance is complicated by the fact that earlier this year sport's ultimate authority, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), overturned an IAAF decision to strip the US team of the 2000 Olympic relay gold medal because one of their members, Jerome Young, was subsequently found to have tested positive before the event.

The CAS decided that while Young should lose his medal, the rest of the team, including world record holder Michael Johnson, should keep theirs.

The IAAF has since changed its rules to state that in future cases all team members will lose their medals. But their lawyers are unclear whether the rule change can be applied retrospectively to the British team. …

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