Athletics Athletics

Chambers set to face Bolt in Ostrava


LONDON, England, April 4 – Controversial British sprinter Dwain Chambers will face world record holder Usain Bolt over 100 metres at this month’s Golden Spike event in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Chambers is now eligible for selection for the London 2012 Olympics after the British Olympic Association’s life-time ban for drugs cheats was over-ruled and he will get a chance to test himself against the best ahead of the Games when he goes head to head with Jamaica’s Bolt.

In addition to Chambers, who served a two-year ban after testing positive for a banned steroid in 2003, Olympic champion Bolt will take on three other men who have gone under 10 seconds — America’s Darvis Patton, Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke and Zimbabwe’s Ngonidzashe Makusha.

Alfons Juck, the Ostrava meeting manager, said: “I can confirm that Dwain Chambers has been invited to the Golden Spike event.

“At the start of the year his agent and lawyer approached all the meetings, including Ostrava. We just waited for the announcement, I wanted to see how it would end with the CAS situation, with the BOA and so on and then we published it.

“But it had nothing to do with the decision over whether Dwain would run in Ostrava or not. We just waited because we thought, from a PR point of view, it would be more wise to wait, then put it into the right perspective.”

The 34-year-old Chambers has been absent from Europe’s leading meets for several years after promoters decided to ban drug cheats.

The Ostrava meeting is the most prestigious event to have offered Chambers a lane since his return to top-flight athletics in 2008 and his inclusion could be the prelude to competing in the top-tier Diamond League series.

His legal representative, Siza Agha, suggests there could be more opportunities for the sprinter in the run-up to London 2012.

“It’s a case now of seeing how things develop over the next two or three weeks,” Agha said.

“There are a lot of discussions going on, with a number of people, not just inside the sport but also outside the sport and it’s important to let those discussions take their full course and then we can assess it.

“It’s all very positive and it’s no less than Dwain deserves.”