Dwain Chambers Lets Himself Down Once Again

Shaun MurphyContributor IMarch 7, 2009

Much has been said about Dwain Chambers over the last few years. There are those who believe the sprinter has served his sentence, learned from his misdemeanours, and deserves another chance.


He is the best sprinter Britain has to offer when drug-free, after all. On the contrary, there are those who refuse to back the sprinter, saying there is no room in athletics for a convicted drugs cheat.


The only way to beat drugs cheats is to have tough, consistent rules that leave athletes in no doubt what will happen if they break the rules. And that’s exactly what Chambers did.


When testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003, there can be no denying he let himself, his fellow athletes, and his country down.


It was up to Chambers to rebuild those bridges; to repay the faith in those who he had let down. But now, judging by his latest comments, those bridges look to be well and truly burnt.


While there can be no doubting the 31 year old’s talent, he is the equal fastest man in the world this year after all, his PR skills since returning to the track have left a lot to be desired.


First came denial, with the sprinter vigorously denying all the charges against him until the two year ban was actually handed out. His lack of honesty did him no favours.

And even when he finally admitted to his indiscretions, Chambers covered himself in no glory whatsoever.


Appearing on BBC’s Inside Sport two years ago, he showed little remorse for his actions, instead focusing on the advantages that drugs can give an athlete over those who remained clean. When asked whether a clean athlete was likely to beat one using drugs in an Olympic final, Chambers replied: "It's possible, but the person that's taken drugs has to be having a real bad day. That's what I believe."


He was condemned for his comments by the press, and well respected figures in athletics such as Sebastian Coe and Sir Steven Redgrave also showed their disdain. The admission that drug taking in athletics is rife, though perhaps true, antagonized many leaders in athletics.


And now, it appears he is at it again.


The disgraced sprinter's new autobiography, ‘Race Against Time’, sees Chambers admit to his faults, and rightly so. But by using his book to accuse well respected figures such as Coe and Kelly Holmes of hypocrisy for their own oversights, it seems there could be no way back for the sprinter, in the eyes of the public at least.


The saddest thing about this whole saga is that had he kept his decorum in public, and went about his business in the right way, he may well have competed in Beijing.


Indeed, the judge who rejected his appeal to compete at Olympic events said as much, citing that, “the harmony and management of the British team would be upset” if Chambers competed. That in itself said a lot for the regard in which the sprinter was held by the British team.


Chambers had hoped that his book would represent ‘closure’ in regards to his past, but judging by his latest remarks, that doesn’t look like happening any time soon. Though his return to the track has proven to be successful, it seems in terms of his life outside of the track, he has proven himself to be as naïve as ever.