Dopey confusion

Brtitish sprinter Dwain Chambers is considering appealing against his Olympic suspension after LaShawn Merritt overturned his own ban last week. Chambers cannot compete in London 2012 after the British Olympic Association imposed a lifetime ban for doping.

Chambers, 33, was ruled out of future British Olympic teams after being banned for two years in 2003 for using the performance-enhancing drug THG. His agent Sazia Agha said: “Dwain and I just want the opportunity to read, digest and review the reasoning behind Merritt’s victory.”

Donald McLean, president of the Cayman Islands Olympics Committee, feels Chambers has a right to try to get his own ban lifted but can understand why the British Olympic Association wants to uphold the ban.

“It’s a tough call,” McLean said. “Each respective Olympic committee has its own rules on doping. I feel that if you get caught for doping and serve your ban and come back you should be allowed to compete at all levels, as long as you don’t resume doping, of course.”

As a national Olympic association, the BOA is not directly affected by Merritt’s successful challenge of the International Olympic Association rule that bans offenders from the Olympics following their conviction, but then leaves them free to compete in subsequent Games.

But the American’s victory at the Court of Arbitration for Sport could set a precedent for appeals against the BOA and other national Olympic bodies that impose their own stricter bans.

Rather than further punishing Merritt for failing three tests for a banned steroid in early 2010, the 400m Olympic champion received support from the United States Olympic Committee in his appeal against the IOC.

McLean added: “Chambers was caught a long time ago and has competed for the UK since. Given the fact that Merritt is competing again, Chambers must feel he has a case. But the UK doping rules are stringent because they want them to act as a deterrent.”

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