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It's official: CAS makes lifetime Olympic bans illegal

The decision means disgraced athletes such as Dwain Chambers and David Millar will now be free to compete.

Athletes such as Dwain Chambers are set to have their lifetime bans overturned.
Athletes such as Dwain Chambers are set to have their lifetime bans overturned.

THE BRITISH OLYMPIC Association’s lifetime ban for convicted drug cheats has been ruled illegal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ruling means two previously banned British athletes, sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar, are free to compete at the London Olympics.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said the World Anti-Doping Agency was making it difficult for organisations to take a tough stance on doping cheats.

“It is a hollow victory for WADA. We live in difficult days when WADA spends time and money reducing the powers of countries taking stands against doping in sport, such as ourselves, New Zealand and Canada,” Moynihan said.

“On the decision made now by CAS, athletes such as David Millar and Dwain Chambers will be eligible for selection for the Olympic Games.

“So long as they meet the eligibility criteria they will be selected by Team GB.”

Former world champion Chambers tested positive for steroids in 2003, while Millar admitted to doping in the lead-up to the 2004 Athens Games.

Moynihan said last month he was optimistic the ruling would be in the BOA’s favour, but the CAS declared the association’s position was contrary to the WADA code, to which they are a signatory.

A CAS statement read: “The CAS panel has ruled that the BOA bye-law related to the selection of British athletes for the Olympic Games was not in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

“Such decision confirms the jurisprudence established last year in the case between the US Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.”

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said in a statement he wanted to pick the best possible team, which would include Millar.

Millar has previously said he may consider not putting himself up for selection, fearing he would be a ‘black sheep’ in the team.

“Our team for the games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we’ll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals,” Brailsford said.

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