LONDON: Dwain Chambers completed his comeback from the sporting dead when the former drug cheat was named in the 71-strong Great Britain athletics team for London 2012 by the British Olympic Association.
Controversial Chambers, who last ran in the Games 12 years ago when he finished fourth in the 100m in Sydney, will compete over the same distance after not featuring inbetween following a two-year suspension and British life Olympics ban for systematic drug use.
The BOA’s life ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this year, paving the way for him to compete at a home Olympics.
Chambers was not able to secure his place in London automatically as, despite winning the trials in Birmingham, he failed to run the ‘A’ qualifying standard of 10.18 seconds.
However, that victory ahead of his domestic rivals as well as his past performances have proved enough to gain selection.
His place on the team had looked a certainty ever since he was given the option of not chasing the qualifying time at last week’s European Championships in Helsinki.
Chambers is joined in the 100m by teenager Adam Gemili, the British number one this season, and James Dasaolu, who were second and third at the trials and have both run the ‘A’ standard.
Chambers said: “”It is a real honour to be selected as part of Team GB today. For me representing my country in an Olympics is a privilege that should never be taken for granted. To be given the opportunity to do so in my home town has been a dream that at times has seemed very distant and is now a reality.
“It is now my responsibility to prepare fully for the 100m, the relay, to support all my fellow athletes and all my other colleagues within Team GB. It is a very proud day and I thank the selectors for the confidence and faith they have placed in me.”
A surprise selection is Edinburgh’s Lynsey Sharp in the women’s 800m after former World Championship bronze medallist Jenny Meadows was among four athletes with the ‘A’ standard time left out in favour of Sharp.
Sharp won last month’s trials in Birmingham and then went on to win silver at the European Championships in Helsinki, but she did not have an ‘A’ standard.
Picking her, therefore, meant selecting no-one else as athletes with the ‘B’ standard can only be selected if no-one with the ‘A’ is chosen.
Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, the British number one and two this year who performed poorly at the trials, were also left out, as was Jemma Simpson, who was second in Birmingham.
Meadows, who has not raced in 2012 because of an Achilles injury, had indicated before the selection she would appeal if she was left out and she is unlikely to be the only one to do so.
UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has already said he is bracing himself for a “heap of appeals” from desperate athletes.
Any appeal must be lodged within 24 hours of the team announcement and then heard within 48 hours. The appeals panel consists of UKA chairman Ed Warner, UKA president Lynn Davies and an independent barrister.
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