Chambers free to compete at London Olympics after BOA byelaw is overturned

Court of Arbitration for Sport rules that the British Olympic Association’s byelaw for lifetime Olympic bans is illegal

Posted on April 29, 2012 by
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Dwain Chambers (Mark Shearman)

Dwain Chambers has already missed two editions of the Olympic Games since testing positive in 2003 for THG, but after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overruled the British Olympic Association’s byelaw on lifetime Olympic bans, the British sprinter is now free to compete at the world’s biggest sporting event this summer when it arrives in his home city of London.

The judgment, which will be official published at 3pm on Monday, means that the BOA will have no power to prevent the likes of Chambers and shot putter Carl Myerscough from competing at the Olympics.

The CAS made their judgment on the grounds that the BOA’s lifetime Olympic ban was effectively an additional sanction on top of the penalties that are already given to athletes guilty of a doping offence.

Under the terms of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, doping penalties must be uniform around the world. As a national Olympic committee, the BOA is a signatory to the code and is therefore bound to comply. CAS was asked to rule on the issue after WADA declared that the BOA was “non-compliant” with the code.

The BOA argued that its byelaw was a matter of eligibility rather than selection, but the CAS rejected that argument.

The decision follows that of LaShawn Merritt, who challenged the International Olympic Committee’s one-Games ban for athletes following their return to competition. That too was ruled illegal last November.

For years, Britain was one of a small number of nations who enforced a lifetime Olympic ban. Other countries, meanwhile, were free to select former drug cheats on to their national Olympic teams.

2 Responses to “Chambers free to compete at London Olympics after BOA byelaw is overturned”

  1. Kevin O'Neill says:

    I agree with this ruling. Of course what Dwain did was wrong and drug cheats should be punished. However, even murderers are given their freedom once they've served their punishment. Olympic medals have been won by reinstated cheats in the past, so is it fair for Dwain to be punished twice? What's needed is a level playing field. Like many I would agree with a four year ban for a first-time offender and a life ban for a second offence.

  2. ali says:

    Behind you all the way, Dwain!

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