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30 April 2012 at 12:43 BST

British Olympic Association loses drugs legal battle

Ruling gives green light to UK athletes with past bans and triggers potential rift with world anti-doping authorities

Dwain Chambers: hello London games?

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne has ruled that Britain’s unique hard-line approach to athletes found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs is incompatible with international regulations, allowing previously banned athletes the chance to represent Great Britain at London’s Olympic Games.
A three-man court panel ruled that the British Olympic Association’s lifetime ban for drugs cheats cannot coexist with the World Anti-Doping Code, which applies a minimum two-year ban for serious drug cheats, according to a report in The Times newspaper.

Life doesn't mean life

High profile athletes Dwain Chambers and David Millar are now shoo-ins to become part of Team GB this summer following the overturning of their bans. The decision will be particularly well-received by sprinter Mr Chambers after he lost a High Court battle to take part in Beijing’s 2008 Games following his 2003 lifetime ban for use of anabolic steroids. Cyclist Mr Millar has become a vocal anti-drugs campaigner since his ban after testing positive for blood-boosting substance EPO.
The Independent newspaper reports the BOA’s argument pertained to eligibility rather than sanctions – claiming it should be free to consider who it wants for Team GB.

Osaka rule

Officially, the BOA declined to comment ‘out of respect for CAS and the arbitration panel’, but has previously claimed to have ‘no problem’ in selecting either Mr Chambers or Mr Millar.
The case was brought about following last year’s CAS ruling in favour of American Runner LaShawn Merritt, who challenged the International Olympic Committee’s ‘Osaka rule’ which bans athletes who test positive from at least one Games.
The CAS judgment is set to be released in full later this afternoon.

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