• London Olympics 2012

Relieved Chambers 'feels alive again'

ESPN staff
May 8, 2012
Dwain Chambers has a smile on his face once again © Getty Images

Dwain Chambers says he is bracing himself for a backlash after being cleared to compete at London 2012, but Britain's top sprinter admits he is simply happy to "feel alive again".

Chambers is now eligible to race at this summer's Games after the British Olympic Association recently lost its court battle to preserve a lifetime ban for drugs cheats.

Londoner Chambers, banned for two years for testing positive for steroid THG in 2003, feels relieved his ordeal is over but the 34-year-old says he knows there are more obstacles to overcome as he seeks to realise a childhood dream and race at an Olympic Games.

"I have made a mistake, a massive mistake, and all I want is another chance to correct it, a chance to do the best for my country," he told the Daily Telegraph. "To run in my home Olympics? I would say it was a dream come true but it's not. Because I didn't even bother dreaming. I thought I would be sitting at home watching.

"Now the reality is if I qualify I will be there. That is something I will cherish, it would be an honour and I want to make sure I do it with pride and enjoy it. But I know it won't please everybody.

"I can cope with stuff on the track but nothing is going to prepare me for the rest; there will be a lot of things said and a lot of comments. I don't expect it to be an easy ride."

Chambers, who admits "it was like running with Atlas on your back" before the Court of Arbitration for Sport delivered the verdict which went against the BOA's by-law - which states all drug cheats should face lifetime Olympic bans - says landing a place at the Olympics would give him the closure he has been longing for.

"It could take me to places I haven't imagined. So many doors may open for me," he said. "This may be the start of something else. I don't know. I am still muddled with the emotions. But I feel alive again."

When asked whether he thinks he would be cheered if he lined up for the 100m final in August, he added: "I think so. My gut feeling is I've received good support these last few years."

Nothing will be possible without the help of the British public, however, according to Chambers. "It's like going to a disco and having a DJ but no music. The party won't work. The crowd keep you going. If the crowd aren't cheering you, it's curtains. It's a done deal."

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