Dwain's sermon of hope begins.....
It was not your average school assembly. Well, not the kind that the small knot of press sitting at the back of the sports hall at Hillview School for Girls in Tonbridge yesterday morning could recall from the mists of time – "All things bright and beautiful," and all that. There, standing on the platform in front of 700 pupils from years 7, 8 and 9, was Dwain Chambers, talking about the past error of his ways and the importance of making the right choices in life. There, in fact, was the second fastest British runner of all-time (second to Linford Christie) giving the Hillside students a global exclusive.
Five days on from the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to outlaw Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter, a regulation that banned athletes on the comeback trail after serving drug suspensions from the next Olympic Games, the sporting world was still waiting to hear Chambers' views on the matter. Was the highest profile doping offender in British sport suddenly thinking of London 2012?
The answer was unequivocal. "The Olympics is the pinnacle for all athletes," Chambers told his audience. "For all British athletes, to be able pull on a British vest and compete in a home Olympics would be a great privilege. It's something I'd love to do if it was a possibility."
Indeed, it has emerged that the World Anti-Doping Agency have written to the BOA asking them to test the regulation. Asked whether he considered the request to be "significant," Chambers' manager, Siza Agha, said: "All developments are significant."
..........Agha [his manager] happens to be a barrister by profession. While he is prepared to wait to see what pressure might be brought to bear on the BOA by the various other interested bodies, and to see how other affected athletes might proceed, he could not desist from challenging the BOA's assertion that their by-law differed from the unenforceable IOC regulation because it had an appeals mechanism.
"The distinction that they're trying to draw with the appeal process in my opinion is just not valid," he maintained. "The BOA by-law has built within it the wording of restrictions on which people can appeal. Having read it, it would preclude Dwain and [the cyclist] David Millar from appealing, because they deliberately did what they did."
.........Ultimately, an appeal to CAS rather than to the High Court would seem the most likely option for Chambers and his manager. "We would like to go down the path of least resistance," Chambers said. "All I can do is just take advice from Siza and be patient. If we can do it without going to a courtroom, I'll be happy with that."
........Chambers has been quietly giving his salutary message to schoolchildren in north London, France and Belgium for some time now – working as a global ambassador for Madonna's Success For Kids charity. "Yes, Dwain's a bit of a controversial figure, but for that very reason he comes with a strong message about making the right choices," Steve Bovey, Hillview's headteacher, said. "We want our girls to make up their own minds."
........The pupils of Windsor Boys School made their minds up about Chambers last year when they chose to use his legs as the model for a bronze statue of Jesus that now stands outside All Saints Church in Dedworth. "They wanted a sports-like figure," said the Reverend Louise Brown, the vicar of All Saints. "They wanted a Jesus to be active in the community, and not behind closed walls."
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olym ... 69056.html