The great and the good of UK athletics have lined up over the last few days to condemn Dwain Chambers and emplore the court not to overturn his Olympic ban. This is self-righteous, self-serving, inconsistent claptrap. The rules are the rules, they say. It wasn't quite like that for Christine Ohuruogu, was it?
Ohuruogu had her Olympic ban overturned on appeal, even though the "rules" were just as clear for her as they are for Dwain Chambers. Ohuruogu earned her ban for missing 3 drugs tests, a clear breach that gave her an easy opportunity to cover up the administering of an banned substance. But, hey, she said she was innocent and she's a nice girl, if a bit dizzy, so we'll let her off. She even went on to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year (after an eyebrow raising victory in the World Championships in only her fifth race back after her ban).
She's not the only one. The triathlete, Tim Don, and judo athlete, Peter Cousins, both won an Olympic reprieve from the BOA after serving a suspension for missing 3 tests. Mark Lewis-Francis was let off his Olympic ban after serving a suspension for having cannabis in his system. So the BOA 'rule' can be ignored when it suits the BOA.
Chambers may be an admitted drugs cheat but he has, at least, served his sentence, apologised and come clean about what he did. Not only that, he has put in the hard graft to get back to a level of serious competitiveness. What does the BOA's refusal to give him a second chance say about the Olympic ideal?
Its not as if drugs have not been rife throughout athletics over the years, is it? So many athletes have been outed as drug cheats, its probably safer to assume an athlete is competing on drugs rather than vice versa. The only difference with Dwain Chambers is that he got caught. So, let him run. He might even win us a medal.