• London Olympics 2012

Chambers holds his breath as BOA lodges appeal

ESPN staff
December 13, 2011

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has gone to court in order to defend its controversial lifetime ban for drugs cheats.

The BOA confirmed that it has filed a formal appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge the World Anti-Doping Agency's claim that the BOA's selection criteria is non-compliant with World Anti-Doping Code.

The BOA claims it has enjoyed "unwavering support" from an "overwhelming majority of British Olympic athletes, present and past" and remains confident of proving that its selection policy is consistent with the Olympic Charter.

In lodging the appeal, the BOA claimed the inclusion of convicted drugs cheats would damage team morale, and insisted the selection policy was not a doping sanction, merely selection criteria.

"The BOA selection policy is a direct expression of the commitment British athletes have made to uphold the values of fair play, integrity and clean competition - values that are at the heart of Olympic sport," BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said.

"It is a policy that reflects the culture and character of Team GB. The BOA and British Olympic athletes do not consider that those who have deliberately cheated should represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

"We appreciate the opportunity to appear before CAS and explain why our selection policy is entirely consistent with the Olympic Charter, and why it is essential for National Olympic Committees to have the autonomy and independence to determine their own selection policies."

Sprinter Dwain Chambers is among those whose Olympic future hinges on the outcome of the case. Chambers has admitted that he no longer expects to go to London 2012, while cyclist David Millar is also anxiously awaiting CAS' decision.

The BOA confirmed that it was working with WADA to ensure a decision would be made by the end of April 2012.

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