• London Olympics 2012

Lewis backs BOA as Chambers & Millar retain Olympic hope

ESPN staff
November 18, 2011
Dwain Chambers remains hopeful of having his lifetime Olympic ban overturned © Getty Images

Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis has lent his support to the British Olympic Association in its bid to uphold their lifetime ban for drugs cheats.

The BOA has come under pressure to scrap its bylaw, which prevents any athlete who serves a six-month ban for doping offences from competing for Britain in the Olympics. The BOA is taking its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to prove its selection policy does not contravene the World Anti-Doping Code.

Lewis believes the BOA is entitled to take a firm stance against drugs cheats, and claims Dwain Chambers knew the consequences when he took performance-enhancing drugs, supplied by Victor Conte.

"If Britain felt they had to take a stand - and I admire them for taking that stand and sticking to it - then that's the way it is," Lewis said in the Sun. "There's no right to run track and field, it's a privilege. If organisations want their own rules, I have no problem with that.

"Life is about the choices you make and you have to abide by them. Chambers made a conscious decision to do what he did. He went all the way to Conte in LA to get faster."

Meanwhile cyclist David Millar, who like Chambers served a two-year ban after failing a drugs test, told the Telegraph he was hopeful his lifetime banned would be lifted, but he would take no personal action in a bid to get the bylaw overturned.

"My stance has always been that I have had more than enough fights on my hands after admitting to my doping," he said. "I had to serve the ban - rightly so, obviously - then try and get my life back together, get reintegrated back into the sport and maintain my level as a professional rider. It's been all-consuming.

"I have never felt an individual on his own was the way forward on this issue. The general policy has got to be decided by all the world governing bodies concerned talking together and deciding one unified approach worldwide."

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