May 01, 2012, 01.02 AM IST | Source: Reuters

BOA showed 'colonial arrogance', says Chambers' agent

OLYMPICS-DOPING-CHAMBERS:BOA showed 'colonial arrogance', says Chambers' agent

By Justin Palmer

LONDON (Reuters) - Dwain Chambers' agent blasted the British Olympic Association (BOA) for their "colonial arrogance" after the sprinter's lifetime Olympic ban was ruled illegal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday.

Chambers, along with cyclist David Millar and other British athletes who have served doping bans, were cleared to compete at this year's London Olympics after the BOA's lifetime Games ban on drug cheats was overturned by CAS.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wanted the BOA to fall in line with its doping code which provides for a maximum two-year ban for a first offence.

"In my view as hosts for the 2012 Olympics, this delicate and emotive issue required international diplomacy, foresight and responsibility," Siza Agha, who is also a barrister, said in a statement.

"What we have received has been a crude and defiant display fuelled by misguided statements such as 'We have standards and the rest of the world doesn't'.

"It has in my view been an exposure of colonial arrogance that even the most extreme and blinkered should have realised could only serve to marginalise British opinion on the international stage.

"In complete contrast, WADA have in my view been the model of professionalism and dignity in the face of the most extreme provocation. Lessons should be learned by their example."

Chambers, 34, was given his lifetime Olympic ban, and a two-year ban from athletics, in 2003 after he was found to have used the anabolic steroid tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG.

He made a comeback to the sport and, despite being ostracised from Europe's leading athletics meetings, won 60 metres gold at the European and world indoor championships in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

London Games chairman Sebastian Coe had said Chambers should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics, but track rivals Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American Justin Gatlin, who himself served a four-year ban for doping, said on Monday they had no problem lining up against him.

Agha said Chambers needed time to reflect on CAS's ruling on Monday.

"Having not been party to the CAS case, Dwain and I will now need to take time to privately digest and consider the reasoning behind the decision. At this stage there will be no further comment on this or any related topic."

(Editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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